Comparative overview of the capacity of the education systems of five Central Eastern European countries to adapt to changing gender roles

Publication Type: 
Working Paper
CEU Center for Policy Studies
Place of Publication: 
CPS Working Papers
Series Number: 
This paper is one of three thematic comparative studies prepared for the “Future Challenges to Education Systems in Central Eastern European Context” (EDUC) project, a comparative research project of the Center for Policy Studies at the CEU – Democracy Institute. The paper conceptualizes the characteristics of education systems and schools which are able to handle gender inequalities and assesses the state of the art of the educational systems in this respect in 5 CEE countries, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. In Section 2, gender relations in education in CEE are contextualized, and an overview on attitudes towards gender roles and gender movements in general and in the CEE countries in particular is provided. In Section 3, international scholarship on gender socialisation and gendered differences in learning outcomes and in educational pathways is reviewed. In Section 4, a set of criteria for school-level capabilities of tackling gender inequalities and a broader policy framework is drawn up. In Section 5, the policy framework in Section 4 is applied on the education systems of the five CEE countries, in order to answer the question whether and how much schools and education systems in Central Eastern Europe are capable of tackling gender inequalities. In Section 6, some preliminary reflections on the gendered aspects of the forced digitalization of education due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021 are shared. In the Conclusion the commonalities and differences of the gender-sensitivity of the education systems of the 5 countries and their responsiveness to changing gender relations are discussed. Sources for the paper include international and regional education scholarship; policy documents and statements issued by governments, governmental agencies, EU agencies and stakeholder organizations; policy evaluation reports; statistical data sets of student achievement and other education data; and relevant opinion poll data.