n Gender and Behaviour - Innovative strides amid inequalities : Basotho girls navigating a patriarchal schooling terrain

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



This paper discusses girls' performances of gender amid insidious patriarchal ideologies in three rural co-educational primary schools in Lesotho. It draws on a doctoral study on constructions of gender in the context of the country's policy of Free Primary Education. Social constructionism framed the study; qualitative data was drawn from grade 7 learners and teachers in the form of informal discussions and participant observations. The analysis shows dynamics of gender inequalities within the schools, and how girls exercised agency by performing gender in ways that defied and navigated demeaning patriarchal tendencies. Girls' innovative performances of gender provide a basis on which education reforms aimed to address gender inequality in schools could begin.

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