Girl Education

The fact that even in this 21st century, we are talking about ‘Girl Education’ , as a separate topic needing exposition is in itself an anachronism. Education, is the right of every individual regardless of his / her social standing, economic status, race, religion, caste or gender. However, it is a bitter truth that in developing countries like India and it sub-continental neighbors and some Arab and African countries, education of women is still lagging far behind and not awarded the same importance or significance, as their male counterparts. What Malala Yousafzi, has brought to the forefront of global consciousness at great peril to her personal safety, let us not dilute in the pages of history.

School is the place of initiation where beyond the realm of formal education, for the first time children get a place to hear their voices, make their opinions and grab chances to lead and work as a team. All the women, who are 1.5 times more than the ratio of boys, who remain uneducated remain outside this orbit and not get a chance to exercise this charge in their homes, communities and nation.

An African proverb puts it across so succinctly when it says: “If we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family and a whole nation”

  • Rippling Effect: Every time a woman receives education, she is so much more likely to pass on the baton to her coming generations and the society around her.
  • Better Health Care: Educated women make better mothers. With more awareness to health issues, she is more likely to practice safe sex, abstain from hand contamination and ensure better hygiene for a healthier home and check infant mortality. They are also better aware of their own health and likely to reach out for improved health care facilities during pregnancy and delivery and birth control measures to keep her family at a more manageable level.
  • Exercise the legal Machinery: An educated woman is far less likely tofall into the trap of child marriage willingly. In case of domestic and sexual violence, she will be more aware of her rights and can use the legal machinery to assert those rights, if needed.
  • Socio-Economic Contribution: An educated women can contribute positively to the financial standing of her family and ensure better standard of living for her children, family and community.
  • Socio-Political Relevance: Educated women area an asset to the society for they can extend valuable contribution to the growth and development of their nation by taking active part in decision making and politics.

However the road ahead is not easy. What is needed is a complete overhaul of the existing system of education by making it more flexible in terms of schedule and curriculum, better access to schools within a close radius, parental and societal awakening, and a low-cost academic programme which is suited to provide girls with learning skills and vocational skills , leading to their become self-reliant.

The aim of every nation should be to provide equal opportunities to girls to gain access to safe, relevant and gender–transformative education, so that they may assert their voices and be heard.

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