Education is very important in life for every person be it a boy or a girl. Women’s education has become one of the key development objectives in today’s world. It is sad to see that being in the 21st century too women are still discriminated and are still denied equal access to education.
“A society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated”
Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
So is this weapon meant for men only? Can we expect a change by just depending on only half the population and neglecting the other half? Surely we can’t. Man and woman are like the two wheels of a cart if one wheel is missing the cart cannot move. So how can a society progress by just educating men?
Man and woman are like the two wheels of a cart if one wheel is missing the cart cannot move. So how can a society progress by just educating men?
It is very shocking to know that millions of girls around the world are still denied education. If you go through the facts and figures from various sources you will be shocked to know that there are still 31 million girls of primary school age out of school.
There are around 34 million female adolescents out of school. Another shocking fact is that two-thirds of the 796 million illiterate people are women. According to census 2011, the male literacy rate is 82.14% and female literacy rate is only 65.46% in India. All these stats certainly reveal the kind of discrimination women have to face in today’s world.
According to census 2011, the male literacy rate is 82.14% and female literacy rate is only 65.46% in India. All these stats certainly reveal the kind of discrimination women have to face in today’s world.
Education is as important as air, food, and shelter equally for both men and women. Girls in India are considered to be a burden on the parents by some people. People have the notion that girls have to be first brought up and then married and sent to another house whereas boys are considered to be the legal heirs of the family.
They are considered to be the caretakers of the parents in their old age. People think that investing in a boys education would be beneficial than on girl’s as they will go to another house.
People think that Women are sent to Earth just to cook, do household work and give birth to kids. Due to this thinking girls suffer and they are ignored. Things have worsened to such an extent that some of the girls are killed before birth in the mother’s womb & if they are given birth they are looked down upon by the family. Some are killed after birth too.
The basic problem to this is that in India a lot of importance is given to getting married. People in India think that a girl’s ultimate dwelling place is her husband’s house and her destiny should remain confined to the four walls of the house.
People won’t mind spending a lot on a marriage than on a Girl’s education. Due to this, any girls have to give up their dreams. A single person cannot be blamed but the whole society is responsible for girls such fate. People fail to realize that educating a girl is as important as educating a boy. Whenever a girl gets a chance to prove her capability she has always proved herself.
Education has an overall impact on girls. Education makes a person strong mentally, socially and intellectually by increasing our knowledge. Educated girls are confident. They can take decisions on their own and become self-reliant.
They can earn for themselves and take care of their families. They are independent and they don’t have to depend on men to validate their existence.
Education helps in the overall development of a person. Educated woman will have a better understanding of her body and she will have smaller family and would know about family planning methods better.
Educated women will take care of their sexual life and are less likely to contract HIV. They can serve the society as doctors, engineers, teachers, pilots, scientists, police officers, writers, lawyers, judges, administrators and what not.
After marriage they can help their husbands financially and add to the income of the family. They will take care of their kids and help educating and imparting good values.
Someone has rightly said, “If you educate a man you educate one person, but if you educate a woman you educate the whole family and a nation”.
Educated women are less likely to believe in superstitions and social taboos. They will not let anyone easily dominate them and would fight for their rights. Educated women will not let their daughters get discriminated as they would know the importance of education very well.
People need to change their thinking and stop this bias of educating men and leaving women aside. People should learn from the parents of Kalpana Chawla, Saina Nehwal, Chanda Kochhar, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra that when a woman is given a chance she can definitely earn both name and fame.
All this would not have been possible if their parents would not have supported them. Every girl deserves a chance to achieve whatever she desires.
So for a better and progressive nation, it is necessary to educate girls and let them fly as high they want.
Education never did harm to anyone it only opens up our mind and changes our personality. Government is also taking up ample of initiatives and all we need is to change our thinking towards girl education so that no girl on this planet is devoid of education.
Written by: Sheetal Sharma
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Education is very important for every child whether boy or girl. It is sad that some communities still discriminate against the education of the girl child. About 57million children around the world are not going to school. The report, Children Still Battling to go to School, finds that 95% of the 28.5 million children not getting a primary school education live in low and lower-middle income countries – 44% in sub-Saharan Africa, 19% in south and west Asia and 14% in the Arab states, UNESCO said. Girls make up 55% of the total and were often the victims of rape and other sexual violence that accompanies armed conflicts, UNESCO said. As the world celebrates Malala’s birthday let us look at some of the reasons why girls should get an education.
1.FUTURE EDUCATED GENERATIONS – An African proverb says, “If we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family – and a whole nation.” By sending a girl to school, she is far more likely to ensure that her children also receive an education. As many claim, investing in a girl’s education is investing in a nation.
2.DECREASE INFANT MORTALITY: Children of educated women are less likely to die before their first birthday. Girls who receive an education are less likely to contact HIV & AIDS, and thus, less likely to pass it onto their children. Primary education alone helps reduce infant mortality significantly, and secondary education helps even more. The Girls Global Education Fund reports that when a child is born to a woman in Africa who hasn't received an education, he or she has a 1 in 5 chance of dying before 5.
3.DECREASE MATERNAL MORTALITY: Educated women (with greater knowledge of health care and fewer pregnancies) are less likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth, or during the postpartum period. Increased education of girls also leads to more female health care providers to assist with prenatal medical care, labor and delivery, delivery complications and emergencies, and follow-up care.
4.DECREASE CHILD MARRIAGE: Child marriage – in some cases involving girls as young as 6 or 8 – almost always results in the end of a girl’s schooling. The result is illiterate or barely literate young mothers without adequate tools to build healthy, educated families. On average, for every year a girl stays in school past fifth grade, her marriage is delayed a year. Educated girls typically marry later, when they are better able to bear and care for their children.
5.DECREASE POPULATION EXPLOSION: Educated women tend to have fewer (and healthier) babies. A 2000 study in Brazil found that literate women had an average of 2.5 children while illiterate women had an average of six children, according to UNESCO.
6.INCREASE INVOLVEMENT IN POLITICAL PROCESS: Educated women are more likely to participate in political discussions, meetings, and decision-making, which in turn promotes a more representative, effective government.
7.DECREASE DOMESTIC & SEXUAL VIOLENCE: Educated girls and women are less likely to be victims of domestic and sexual violence or to tolerate it in their families.
8.DECREASE SUPPORT FOR MILITANCY: As women become more educated, they are less likely to support militancy and terrorism than similarly educated men.
9.IMPROVE SOCIOECONOMIC GROWTH: Educated women have a greater chance of escaping poverty, leading healthier and more productive lives, and raising the standard of living for their children, families, and communities.
These and many more are some of the valuable reasons why we should all support education for girls. For every boy that is educated, every girl should be educated too.
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO IMPROVE GIRLS' ACCESS TO EDUCATION?
According to UNICEF, experience in scores of countries shows the importance, among other things, of:
1.Parental and community involvement -- Families and communities must be important partners with schools in developing curriculum and managing children's education.
2.Low-cost and flexible timetables -- Basic education should be free or cost very little. Where possible, there should be stipends and scholarships to compensate families for the loss of girls' household labour. Also, school hours should be flexible so children can help at home and still attend classes.
3.Schools close to home, with women teachers -- Many parents worry about girls travelling long distances on their own. Many parents also prefer to have daughters taught by women.
4.Preparation for school -- Girls do best when they receive early childhood care, which enhances their self-esteem and prepares them for school.
5.Relevant curricula -- Learning materials should be relevant to the girl's background and be in the local language. They should also avoid reproducing gender stereotypes.
Malala Yousafzi, the Pakistani schoolgirl brought to England after being shot in the head by the Taliban, will address the United Nations today. She will mark her 16th birthday by delivering a speech at the UN headquarters in New York to call on governments to ensure free compulsory education for every child.
It will be the teenager's first public speech since she was attacked on a bus in Pakistan's north-western Swat valley after standing up for her right to go to school in her home country.
She will tell a delegation of more than 500 young people: "Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons.
"One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first."
Join hands and support #education for all boys and girls. No one should be left out. #MalalaDay