Tunisian Schools: Gender Trends

Figure 1.--This school portrait was taken in Hiboun; Tunisia. Once it was a village near Mahdia, today it is a neighborhood of the same city. The "7me classe" was at the time the 1st grade class. It is a class of 36 pupils, but it seems that there are only five girls, all in the back row. It is possible that many girls didn't attend any school. All the pupils are barefoot. It was taken June 4, 1955 as Tunisia was moving toward independence. ,

We are not yet sure about gender trends in Tunisian schools. Many of the photographs we have found are all boys. These were presumably from single gender schools. We suspect in the cities there were boys and girls schools. U\In smaller villages there would be fewer French children as well as smaller schools. As in France itself, smaller villages could not support two single gender schools. Thus we see boys and girls in these schools, but usually more boys than girls. We suspect that Tunisian parents were less willing to send their girls to school than French parents. This is not surrising, at least early uin the coonial era as the mosque madrasahs only educated boys. We are not yet sure what occurred in the schools after independence as far as gender is concerned.


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Created: 9:53 AM 2/24/2013
Last updated: 9:53 AM 2/24/2013