Teacher gender and the gender gap in education: The case of Mozambique primary schools

Policy brief State

  • Mozambique is characterised by a substantial gender gap in education and male dominance in the teaching profession.
  • This study investigates the relationship between the relative lack of female teachers and the gender gap in education across the universe of Mozambican schools. Using data from the annual school census (2004-2017), the authors document a small negative correlation between the share female teachers at a school and the gender gap in enrolment, both across schools and within schools over time.
  • The findings suggest a small positive association between the share of female teachers and grade completion among both boys and girls. However, the authors caution against interpreting the findings causally and highlight the need for further research to establish the importance of female teachers.
  • In light of recent evidence on the importance of female teachers in other countries, there are potential alternative approaches to addressing the relative lack of female teachers in schools: hiring additional female teachers; and redistributing female teachers from schools with many female teachers to schools with few.