Gender inequality in access to education has generally been seen as a major problem that needs to be addressed. This study investigates the factors that contribute to gender inequality in higher education. It also examines the challenges faced by Ghanaian girls that contribute to their discrimination in education. Government initiatives towards girls’ higher education have also been explored.
The study used mainly qualitative method, thus interview and field notes. Students, parents, faculty members were interviewed in order to understand their views towards girls’ education in higher education. The study was guided mainly by contemporary feminist theories. Relevant to this study are: theories of gender inequality which includes Marxist feminists, liberal feminists and radical feminists. These theories deal with marginalized group where girls and women in Ghana are not excluded, since they have usually been treated differently and unequally from boys and men. Furthermore, feminist theories serve as guides to the understanding of gender inequality and as guides to action. The literature discussed in this study reflect on the purpose of the study and try to derive some of the issues that the research question raise.
The findings of this study reveal that the major problem that affect girls access to higher education are poverty, the economic conditions of a families, social-cultural factors and negative altitudes of some parents towards girls higher education. It further, shows that girls face challenges such as pregnancy and lack of motivation.
The study exposed some educational interventions by the government aimed exclusively at increasing girls’ education in higher education, like the quota system and many others. In spite of these measures you would realize that the gap still persists. The study suggests to the government and other stakeholders in the higher education sector to embark on pragmatic and vigorous policies to curb the issue of gender inequality in the higher education sector. One such suggestion is that, there should be a policy which will enable girls to go back to school after delivering a baby and of course sex education needs to be openly and publicly discussed. The solutions for of implementing policies need also to be found in order to minimize the problem if not complete eradication. In addition, urgent attention is required in addressing poverty constraints. For proper economic take off it is expected that both sexes must be given equal opportunity in accessing higher education.