Populists are mistaken in calling for end of single-sex schools

Source:The Irish Times

Gender discrimination will not evaporate if girls and boys are educated together

In the midst of an offensive against single-sex education in Ireland, Bárbara Ennis points out in The Irish Times that the imposition of mixed schools, far from being a means of achieving equality, will lead to the return of discrimination against women in education.

How many women have been outlawed in history? How many men continue to claim credit for the work done by women, particularly in the disciplines of science and mathematics?

To find the answer, all you have to do is talk to the women it happened to and continues to happen to. History has triumphed over the stories of many women and their achievements.

This is also true for the history of education. Even the most cursory look at the annals of women’s education will reveal the barriers and contempt for those who fought for equal rights for women in education.

I work in a single-sex school that proudly recognizes the legacy of pioneering women. One that is increasingly aware of progressively advancing. We must not succumb to amnesia about the past: denying women higher education was a powerful form of repression, as was the current attack on all-female schools.

It is true that in Ireland in 2022, girls have equal access to education. But their right to the best kind of education as women is threatened. The discrimination evidenced more than 100 years ago is being fomented again by populists who, today, wage war against single-sex schools.

It is curious that as critics take aim at single-sex schools in Ireland, all-girls schools in America have increased twenty-fivefold in the last 10 years. A 2018 UCLA study of 6,000 incoming college students found that girls’ school graduates were more likely to show high levels of self-confidence about their scientific ability, view themselves as critical thinkers, score higher on measures of academics of the mind and demonstrate stronger study habits.

It is hollow to argue that the discrimination of boys and girls will evaporate if girls and boys are educated together. Discrimination haunts our society.

Source: Article Populists are mistaken in calling for end of single-sex schools

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