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Social constraints limit educational opportunities for girls: World Bank

Social constraints limit educational opportunities for girls: World Bank

The World Bank (WB) has pointed out that social constraints were limiting educational opportunities for girls in Pakistan. The WB in its World Development Report titled “Mind, Society and Behaviour” pointed out that in Pakistan many girls who wish to attend school must cross two types of social boundaries – caste boundaries and gender boundaries. Low-caste girls may experience stigma and face discrimination if they attend a school dominated by high castes, and all girls are subject to Purdah, a ‘form of female seclusion that restricts women’s mobility and social interactions’.
These social constraints limit educational opportunities for girls. The report further stated that in some cases, policy-makers may be able to bypass the behavioural effects of social norms. Contrasting two hypothetical policies, Jacoby and Mansuri (2011), show that a policy of providing schools to hamlets dominated by low-caste individuals would increase enrolment by almost twice as much as a policy of placing a school in every unserved hamlet, and would do so at one-sixth of the cost. The report aims to inspire and guide the researchers and practitioners who can help advance a new set of development approaches based on a fuller consideration of psychological and social influences.
The title of report, Mind, Society, and Behaviour, captures the idea that paying attention to how humans think (the processes of mind) and how history and context shape thinking (the influence of society) can improve the design and implementation of development policies and interventions that target human choice and action (behaviour). To put it differently, development policy is due for its own redesign based on careful consideration of human factors, the report adds.
The report aims to integrate recent findings on the psychological and social underpinnings of behaviour to make them available for more systematic use by both researchers and practitioners in development communities. The report draws on findings from many disciplines, including neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, behavioural economics, sociology, political science and anthropology. In ongoing research, these findings help explain decisions that individuals make in many aspects of development, including savings, investment, energy consumption, health, and child rearing. The findings also enhance the understanding of how collective behaviours, such as widespread trust or widespread corruption, develop and become entrenched in a society.
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