This paper proposes that multiple disparities in education might be best addressed by working through gender. It provides an exploration of the gender disparities pointing out links to the social and educational exclusion of marginalised groups. The discussion is structured around three main themes, Identities, Power and Processes and Methodologies. Focusing on gender, the first two themes concentrate on general principles that describe how exclusions operate in social contexts. The interplay of power and identities in the social processes of institutions give rise to gender and other disparities. Because gender identities are always cross cut by economic status, ethnicity religion, disability etc., it becomes an entry point for intervention to interrupt these systems and address multiple disparities. The third theme offers critical reflections on how we gather knowledge and evidence about educational exclusion. Some of the key problematics associated with the reliance on quantitative data are discussed. Throughout the paper the significance of the social context is emphasised in configuring different forms of exclusion in different places. In the final section the discussion is drawn back to meanings of access that are our central commitment. On this basis it raises questions about how we might move through gender to construct policy, advocacy and intervention to address multiple disparities.
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