THE VALUE OF GIRL EDUCATION!
The famous African proverb reads, “If you educate a woman, you educate a family, if you educate a girl, you educate the future.” India’s future is dependent on equality in all forms such as gender, race, ethnicity, and caste. Education in India is seen to be a privilege, but this privilege is only given to the “man” of the house as a girl child is perceived as a “liability.” The vicious cycle of poverty, overbearing patriarchal values, and unequal opportunities can only be put to an end if a girl is given her right to education.
Despite India’s rapid growth and progression, it is still far from bridging the gap between gender inequality and discrimination when it comes to education. There are a host of obstacles that prevent our society from changing their mindset towards educated women and girl education in general. In order to encourage society from sending young women to school, we must first understand the reasons behind these orthodox beliefs.
Why do Parents/Society Leaders in Rural Areas Restrict Girls from Attending School?
Insecure men fear that a woman’s capabilities and talents would overshadow them and make them feel less “manly.” The constant fear of women outshining them leads them to develop an inferiority complex. This is a deterrent to girl education in a narrow-minded society.
Perceiving girls as a “Burden”
A girl is often seen as a liability/burden that needs to be gotten rid of by marriage. They don’t understand the importance and point of her being educated as they feel that her purpose in life is just to be married. They completely overlook that girl education is like every other child’s education and it would lead to nothing but, burgeoning of their generation.
Undermining a girl’s capabilities and talents
Regardless of the girl’s capabilities, ambitions and talents she is always seen as inferior and weak. Gender stereotypes and fear complexes of society prevent them recognizing a child’s true talent, valuing it, and letting her pursue her dreams.
Some of the aforementioned reasons continue to make India the smallest country that allocates financial resources in girl education, failing to meet minimal requirements of what is necessary. Underdeveloped states like Bihar, spend only 30% of what is required.
How can our Country Progress if a Girl Child is Educated?
A young girl that is educated is educating a nation along with her. When we educate a girl, we educate a family. This change can be brought about only if all understand the significance and urgency of girl education in the nation. The next generation of our country progresses because-
- Fair and equal employment opportunities- Everyone will get fair opportunity to work. Gender won’t be a basis of discrimination then.
- Women labor workforce increases– the women who have been restricted to house work till now will also get a chance to work outside their homes and explore their potential. This will boost the workforce of the country and it would be beneficial for the country’s development.
- Population growth is stabilized due to education– if people will be educated then the population growth will be stabilized.
- More stable communities– Education builds resilience, enabling countries to recover from conflict faster once peace is established. In fact, inclusive, quality education can even help prevent conflict in the first place through lessons on problem-solving, social skills and critical thinking. And whilst primary education is vital to girls, it’s secondary education that can be transformative. In certain countries, doubling the percentage of students finishing secondary school would halve the risk of conflict.
- Economic growth and lower dependency ratio.
- Girls manage to escape from the patriarchal shackles and build a brighter future.
- Quality of healthcare increases.
Facts and Figures
- Research in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, countries found that level of education has a “substantial impact on employment prospects”.
- On average, across these countries, 74% of those with the proposed twelve years of education up to upper secondary are employed, as opposed to 56% of those without an upper secondary education.
- Generally, secondary school graduates enjoy higher earning potential than early school leavers, contributing to the growth of the national economy through full-time employment and tax.
- And if all children in low-income countries completed upper secondary education by 2030, per capita income would increase by 75% by 2050 and advance the fight to eliminate poverty by ten years.
Women are multi-taskers and global leaders in every way. They fulfil multiple roles and have incredible and fascinating talents that need to be appreciated. With the doors that education would open for them, our county could progress and transform in many ways. Recognizing that a woman can bring about a change not only in her family but also in her community and society at large is the first step towards not just fighting for change but also making it happen!
Also published on Medium.