Despite gender equity concerns in education emerging as a key area of interventions and debates within the global justice arena, the educational needs of pregnant schoolgirls and student-mothers have received minimal attention. This research is an attempt to make visible the experiences of young mothers from a rural community in Kenya and their efforts to realise their right to education. By interrogating the policy environment that guides the education of student-mothers and their lived experiences at schools, households and neighbourhoods, this research unveils how material and discursive dimensions of gender relations interact with other factors such as insecure livelihoods to mitigate schooling for student-mothers. The research findings point to the positive agency and resilience of student-mothers and their potential to trans-form gendered ideologies that seek to confine motherhood to the private sphere as they participate in formal education as pregnant schoolgirls and mothers. However, for the right to education for young mothers to be fully realised, policies must be attendant to the material and discursive situation of student mothers.

education, gender relations, young mothers
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)
hdl.handle.net/1765/22531
ISS Working Papers - General Series
ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
ISS MA Research Paper Award winner for the academic year 2009-2010
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Wekesa, A.N. (2011). Bending the private-public gender norms. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 515, pp. 1–51). International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/22531