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Frontiers in Educational Research, 2024, 7(1); doi: 10.25236/FER.2024.070125.

Disparities in Primary and Secondary Education for Girls in Rural China


Yanxuan Wu

Corresponding Author:
Yanxuan Wu

School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK


Since its reform and opening up initiated in the late 20th century, China has actively aligned itself with global trends in prioritizing women's status and ensuring gender equality in education. However, girls in rural China have long suffered from educational inequality. This article reveals key factors contributing to this inequality, including deep-seated gender biases such as son preference, a scarcity of educational resources in rural areas, and the financial strain caused by China's rapid economic development. Through literature review, this article discusses the historical background of Chinese female education, which has been subordinated and excluded from formal education for a long time, and the current situation that China has made progress but there is still a huge gap in rural areas. The article further highlights the profound challenge of rural girls and women being systematically excluded from educational opportunities and analyses the underlying causes of this continued neglect, namely, gender tradition and stereotypes as well as China's economic reform. The article lastly assesses the effectiveness of three existing Chinese government policies at the national and regional levels in addressing gender bias in education, and proposes strategic recommendations and the need for efforts to strengthen inclusive education in China.


Education Inequality, Gender Inequality, Gender Exclusion, Gender Tradition, Gender Stereotypes, Inclusive Education, Education Policy, Rural Education Gender Inequality, Son Preference Culture

Cite This Paper

Yanxuan Wu. Disparities in Primary and Secondary Education for Girls in Rural China. Frontiers in Educational Research (2024), Vol. 7, Issue 1: 168-173. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2024.070125.


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