Women’s education is one of the essential components of women’s empowerment. It’s the right of every person, regardless gender, to get a proper education and become a professional in the field they choose.
The article 26 of the Universal declaration of human rights states that every human being has a right to education. This means, regardless the nationality, race, religion, or gender all people should have equal opportunity to peruse education.
Unfortunately, not everywhere this fundamental human right is functioning. In many countries and societies, women are this or that way deprived of the opportunity to study. It’s a well-known fact that illiterate people are easier to control. With the lack of opportunity to education, several women and girls around the globe are discriminated, violated and never taught to speak up against that violation of their fundamental human right.
So, it’s quite obvious why one of the essential goals of women’s empowerment is fighting against gender inequality in education. The aim is reaching to equal opportunities for both boys and girls, men and women to study, educate themselves based on their individual abilities and never based on gender!
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of women’s education in women’s empowerment.
Why Women’s Education Is of Significant Importance for Women’s Empowerment?
Gender inequality in education is the #1 threat to women’s empowerment and role in the society. It’s simple: Woman that is deprived of education is deprived of self-protection!
But education is a broad term, isn’t it? The first and the most important stage is elementary education, which provides people with decent literacy level.
In different societies, depending on the level of conservatism, women are being discriminated and not given an opportunity to either peruse higher education or get literate at all.
For example, female literacy level in Afghanistan in average is 17% (more or less depending on the certain area), which means more than 80% Afghani girls and women are illiterate. This can be the root of the continuous violence in that region.
The explanation is clear, a woman who is educated is more likely to have children at a mature age and is more likely give her children moral upbringing.
Is the Religion or Welfare of the Country the Reason for Low Level of Women’s Education?
Sadly, Afghanistan is not the only example. In many less developed areas of the world illiteracy level of females reaches to catastrophic numbers. Some experts see the root of the problem in the economy and welfare of the country. But that’s not always the case.
First of all, primary education should be provided for free according to the above-mentioned article 26. Secondly, if the real problem would have been the welfare, then illiteracy level of male citizens should have been the same, but it’s not.
The root of this problem in many societies go deeper. It’s the conservatism and the stereotypical idea about women’s worth and place in life. Many that consider women are only for continuing their generation and the time spent on academic education should be spent to bring up housewives and mothers.
Some people justify their discrimination with their beliefs, traditions, and religion. On this occasion the founder and executive director of Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization (NECDO) in Afghanistan, Jamila Afghani made a statement during Aurora humanitarian prize talks.
I’ve spent a lot of time talking to many Imams. I asked them directly to show me a single sentence in Koran where it’s mentioned that women should not be educated and go to school. Of course, they couldn’t. Finally, they confessed, it’s a tradition, it’s just a stereotype that comes from the past. The religion has nothing to do with that. It is used as a way to justify their attitude towards female education. They don’t want women to be educated because they will become more aware of their rights and will be able to protect themselves.
Lack of Women’s Education Boosts Unemployment
The female education and correspondingly female labor is highly underestimated in some areas of the world. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia. The problem lays not only in the lack of financial resources and bad living conditions but also in stereotypes ruling in those areas.
For instance, in Nigeria, the universal primary competition succeeds for rich boys, however, the picture is not the same in case of poor girls. The further development and the progress of countries like Nigeria will be impeded as long as the gender inequality in education is the ruling problem of the country.
Women’s education doesn’t only mean a victory in principle ideas and moral values. Well, somehow it is. However, the women’s education brings with itself a glimpse of fresh air and guarantees the further economic progress of the world.
An educated woman will have a voice in her society and will never be scared to raise her opinion or disagreement on various issues. Educated women and girls have a great impact on the world economy as well.
By educating women, the labor of world’s population raises incomparably. Unemployment is one of the major troubles of today in many counties.
The fostering factors of unemployment are the lack of education. In many countries, the rated number of female unemployment is incomparably higher than male unemployment. In Arabic world, for instance, about 20% of working-age women hold jobs. The great number of women prefer early marriages.
Early Marriage & Maternity VS Women’s Education
This brings to another huge stereotype that exists in such societies. The woman who peruses education and career, can’t and won’t make a good mother and housewife. This may be the reason why so many women obey that unwritten rule and prefer early marriage and motherhood.
In many countries, girls who are just 11 or 12 are already facing such problems as early marriage.
This doesn’t mean we don’t support family values or condemn women who want to create families. But once the girl gets a proper schooling, education, builds a career, or maybe just finds an ordinary job, it helps her to establish herself as an individual.
This mature individual woman now will totally be capable of raising a family and bringing up children, who will become good citizens. And those kids won’t be brought up in bias based on gender stereotypes.
Never forget about these words! An educated girl will become a woman leader tomorrow.
Women’s education is also problematic among migrant women and girls in even developed European countries such as Italy, France, The Netherlands and such huge cities as New York.
Education always matters and it’s far not a secret. Here are some of the most influential quotes inspiring and empowering women to fight for their right to education.
It’s not a secret the former first lady of US, Michelle Obama paid special attention to the education of women and girls. She is well-known for her initiatives in the field of education. Mrs. Obama once said that she is sure that women all over the world who make sacrifices for getting education deserve special attention and help.
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