In many emergency situations, it is easier to recruit male teachers than women, and unless specific measures are taken, this can mean that schools are dominated by male teachers and administrators. Although male teachers may be very supportive of girls’ education, and may pose no specific barrier to girls’ enrollment in some contexts, in others, the dominance of male teachers can create learning environments which meet the learning, social and emotional needs of boys, but are not very supportive for girls. In some communities, especially conservative ones, if there are no female teachers at all, parents are unlikely to send their daughters to school. Male teachers may create protection risks for girls, especially if there are no codes of conduct and/or other professional guidance available. Furthermore, where there are no female role models, supportive figures or advocates for them in school, girls may be de-motivated and inclined to drop out of school.

Reasons for the dearth of female teachers vary from place to place, but often include a lack of sufficiently qualified or educated women in the location and few women able to work in the language of instruction. If becoming a teacher depends on residential training programs far from home, this is also a barrier for many women. Where there are suitably qualified candidates, women may not be attracted into the teaching profession because more lucrative earning opportunities exist elsewhere and/ or because of other commitments and pressures, especially family and household chores and the perceived heavy workload for teachers.