Gender and education

Access to formal education in the Horta district developed in a gradual, limited and unequal manner. The model of schooling legislated by the state which would regulate education between 1860 and 1940 corresponds to that of a patriarchal society, based on an interpretation of the differences between men and women, and was unfavourable to the latter. Education was oriented towards reinforcing the sexual division of labour: plans called for lessons in separate schools and the female curriculum focused mainly on domestic matters. The Moyano Act of 1857 provides for the following ‘Tasks suited to their sex. Elements of drawing applicable to these tasks. Simple fundamentals of domestic hygiene.’ The slight advances towards co-education that occurred during the republican period suffered a setback in schooling under National Catholicism, which assigned women the role of wife and mother within the domestic sphere.