Currently, a strong gender gap that is in favor of women is developing particularly in the access to higher education in the Arctic region, and it is also noted to higher particularly among the indigenous groups. The incidence of increase in the gender gap has been noted mainly among the Alaskan natives where women are achieving their higher education at a rate that is three times higher than that of the male gender. Women attainment of higher education tends to have an important role and place in the progress and advancement of women for example in the country's economic development and achievement of social-cultural correctional. The education gap that is in favour of the female is considered to have widened between the years 1998 to the year 2004. In the year 2000 the number of the female who enrolled for the Alaska undergraduate program representing approximately 54% while the number of males who enrolled was approximately 46%. The number of female enrolling to the higher education programs is increasing from year to year. This study aims to assess the increase in women population and causes why the Alaskan female are attaining their higher education at a higher rate than men. In the year 2003, despite the country recording a 52% male population aged above eighteen years the University of Alaska enrolled 157 female students and 100 male students. The gap was however considered to increase in the rural university campuses, which tend to have a high number of Alaska native enrolments. According to the University of Alaska following the enrolment, the male students are less like to graduate as compared to the female.
The research data was obtained from the University of Alaska from the department of budget and institutional research. The information was obtained special with the internal enrollment data. The enrolment information was gathered from the university's scholarship programs and from other special programs from the year 2003 to the year 2004. The data analyzed was discussed in a special meeting with the relevant stakeholders such as the universities native educators, and the native educators in Anchorage, and later with the university board. The Alaskan native educators are considered to be aware of the existing gender gap, and they are putting much effort to comprehend and address the existing gap. The analyzed information tends to omit the Alaskan native students who move out of state to seek higher education whereby their number and gender distribution tends to be unknown. The study information was obtained based on various factors that include the number of Alaska native males enrolling and graduating, current changes in the gender gap among the Alaskan natives and the gender differences among the Alaskan native attaining the highest level of academic success in Alaskan high schools.
Population as of the cause of females acquiring degrees at a higher rate than the male.
The population of the female gender tends to be the predominant factor contributing to the increase in the gender gap where the number of females enrolling and graduating in the university is higher compared to that of the male. Various factors are leading to the increase in women's population in Alaska University, this includes. First, the state's population change. According to the year, 2000 population census figures the population of the Alaskan native men was seen to be reduced while the population of the Alaskan aboriginal women was noted to increase. The increased women population in Alaska enhanced the probability of more female being enrolled to the universities as compared the men. The population of women in Alaska however seen to increase as the years progressed and the number of degrees that were awarded in Alaska doubled from year to year. In 2007 40% of the Alaskan native population at the age of 25 had had a high chance of enrolling to the college or completing the university education. The increased women population in Alaska also led to the increase of higher education opportunities and chances of advancement, particularly for the native Alaskan women.
The second primary reason for education gender disparity among the Alaska Natives is that employment and success in occupations which need academic credentials are usually inconsistent with traditional male roles of being independent provider and hunter. Most of the programs of education in the Alaska education institutions concentrate on office administrations and health, occupations that traditionally fall within the role sphere of females. The analyzes of the traditional gender roles among the indigenous groups found in Alaska as well as other regions emphasizes on the differentiation of gender roles having the males being responsible for practice of hunting while the females are responsible for the processing of the hunt products. Therefore, the traditional role of males among the Alaska Natives emphasized on the virtues and skills that render schooling irrelevant although they are essential to the community. The fact that most men want staying at the village where they can continue with their subsistence pursuits provides another reason that explains the gender gap.
Thirdly, the abolishment of cultures that obliged women to stay at home and rear children instead of going to school. For a long time, the native Alaskan women have experienced many struggles in their quest to achieve the higher education. The women have particularly had the challenge of certain cultures that tend to create various threats from mainstream society and impact the women by denying them the right to education. However following the continuous complains the Alaskan government introduced an initiative aimed at enhancing the Alaskan native education and abolishment of factors that hinder the women from attaining their educational goals. This initiative led to the increase of women population willing to enroll for the degree programs as compared to the menTherefore, the probability that the increased gender gap in higher education achievement was triggered by the increase of the population after the elimination of the social norms.
In conclusion, there exists a gender gap which favors women in developing specifically to the higher education in Arctic region which is also realized to be high among indigenous groups. The increase in gender gap exists mostly among Alaskan natives as women are receiving higher education at a higher rate than the male gender. The gender gap is contributed by several factors such as; the state's population change where there are more females than males, the abolishment of cultures that obliged women to stay at home and rear children instead of going to school, and the fact that most of the programs of education in the Alaska education institutions put more emphasis on occupations that traditionally fall under women roles
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