Gender parity in civic and citizenship education (1-2024)


Editors: Olga Bombardelli (University of Trento, Italy) and Gina Chianese (University of Trieste, Italy)

Deadline for first submissions: August 19, 2023

The Journal of Social Science Education will publish a special issue in 1/2024 on Gender parity in civic and citizenship education

Gender parity and social equality are basic human rights; they are linked to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs), especially the 4th (education), 5th (gender equality), and 10th (reducing the inequalities in all fields). The Education Agenda 2030 of UNESCO recommends an approach that ‘ensures that girls and boys, women and men not only gain access to and complete education cycles, but are empowered equally in and through education’ (UNESCO, 2015).

In this issue contributions are expected both to give an overview over the current practice of dealing with gender issues in civic, and citizenship education, and to inquire how this topic should be implemented, especially in the schools of European countries.

Questions of gender parity have been very much in the focus of discussion during the last decades, in order to promote a fair and equal distribution of chances in life.

The situation varies from country to country, and gender relations are also changing within socio-economic class cultures and ethnic or religious communities; often there are multiple forms of social marginalization simultaneously (intersectionality).

The Gender Development Index measures gender inequalities in achievement in three basic dimensions of human development: health, education, and command over economic resources, measured by female and male estimated earned income.

Despite the notable progress, disparities, social exclusion, discrimination are common on a global scale. Women are still underrepresented in top-level managerial positions; the “glass ceiling effect” that metaphorically describes the decreasing number of women at each stage of career progress, is far off; in Sept 2022 only 21 per cent of government ministers were women, with only 14 countries having achieved 50 per cent or more women in cabinets (UN Women, 2022).

In the workplace, the labour market is gender-specifically segregated in large areas; there is a gender-specific division of labour in several jobs, including the school, where the prevalence of female teachers can have consequences on education. Differences in income between women and men (gender wage gap) have hardly levelled off; gender injustice also occurs in the household environment, where housework and caring for children remain largely a female domain.

Education plays an important role. At global level more girls than boys still remain out of school; 16 million girls will never set foot in a classroom (Unesco institute for Statistics, 2022), and women account for two thirds of the 750 million adults without basic literacy skills, although in some regions boys are at a disadvantage, and female students outperformed their male counterparts (Eurostat, data 2020).

Educational practices and policies are very different in countries around the world, teaching strategies, syllabuses and lesson plans of civic and citizenship, implicit gender assumptions have to be considered. Of some concern is the tension between the promotion of equality and difference; it is an open question whether and how student centered teaching, and gender sensitive didactics has to pay attention to the special needs of male and female students in the different school levels.

Teaching materials like student worksheets and learning media, reading books in schools transfer gender values or norms through pictures and sentence formulations that do often reflect gender disparities (gender bias).

Considerable challenges and demands to teachers and evaluators are posed in developing proper assessment and evaluation strategies, criteria, tools and instruments to check the learning progress of students in this field without indoctrination, considering contents, learning processes (analyzing, documenting, reasoning), soft skills etc., because of the complexity and open-endedness of social-scientific questions and the diversity of approaches.

The question of gender parity goes beyond the school and education system and describes outside-school fields of education, family educational models in different cultures, and can address the relationship with the families and the rights of the parents to have a say in the education of their children.

Gender Responsive School Classrooms imply several aspects: objectives, styles of teaching and learning, classroom management, pictures of class figures, assignments, learning media, and a gender responsive language. Important is the awareness of teachers and educational practitioners, and their professional competence (for example: skills for dealing with current controversial questions). It is not a ghetto question; it is part of the efforts for promoting respect and dignity for all against marginalization of diversities.

We welcome submissions on the following topics with a clear reference to civic, citizenship or social education:

  • the scholarly state of the art, including literature review about efforts for gender parity in education, recent research projects, empirical surveys, case studies, 
  • the role of civic and citizenship education in this field,   
  • clarification of concepts: Gender parity and gender equality, possible links between the educational work for gender equity and the queer theories,
  • the present and past curricular implementation of gender issues ,  
  • gender sensitive use of language,
  • representation of men and women in learning/teaching materials,
  • preparation, awareness, attitudes and practices of teachers and educational practitioners, teachers trainers and trainees,
  • educational role of non formal education in this field,
  • proposals for improvement on how to deal with gender issues, and promote the students’ critical thinking at institutional and at practical level.

Keywords: Human rights, gender parity, gender social equality, role of civic and citizenship education, inclusive and gender sensitive education.

For further information, the author should refer to the JSSE Author Guidelines:

The issue will contain:

  • An editorial in which key themes are highlighted and articles briefly summarised.
  • submissions of between 6-8000 words.
  • Book reviews.

The timetable of the Special Issue is following:

  • Submission of abstracts (requested, not mandatory)
  • First submissions by authors via the JSSE website 19/08/2023
  • Final decision and papers ready for layout 09/02/2024
  • Publication 15/03/2024          


Eurostat Gender statistics (2022).

UNESCO (2015). Leading SDG 4 - Education 2030,

UNESCO Institute for Statistics 2022

United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Reports (2022). Gender Development Index

UN Women (2022). Facts and figures: Women’s leadership and political participation,