“Labour for learning before you grow old. For learning is better than silver or gold. Silver and gold will vanish away, but a good education will never decay”
One Crime – Teaching Girls
You might readily recall the vicious attack on Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani girl whose only sin was teaching girls to read. Most of us could only stand and watch in amazement as news of her struggles unfolded, praying she would be safely transferred to the United Kingdom and for her restoration to good health.
Her ordeal begs the question: “How many of us would be so willing to put ourselves out there in support of this cause?”
Not many I imagine. Yet, we pursue education to the highest level and beyond, as much as our resources permit. Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year, making her its youngest recipient. Those of us watching applauded loudly, but in my view, the most resounding applause ought to be heard from our feet as we move to stand in solidarity with her.
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, is reported as saying: “Investing in education is a smart investment, one that is good to business and that boosts the moral of company employees.” She has also said, “the global learning crises violates human rights, undermines social cohesion, threatens stability and creates a lost generation that cannot join in the lives of their societies. The quest for sustainable development requires new ways of working together, green skills, new types of jobs and shifts in mentalities.”
Allow me to zero in on that last statement.
The Quest For Sustainable Development
Women make up a significant segment of the world’s societies, so if the overall goal of our leaders is creating an environment for sustainable development, then it cannot and will not be met without the full participation of an educated female population.
This has been proven at the micro levels and several researchers have concluded that female-led enterprises tend to have greater levels of success, managed more efficiently and profitably for shareholders and stakeholders and, have higher productivity levels and staff morale.
“Women business leaders have differentiated themselves as strong decision-makers. Research suggests that women at the helm of companies and investment portfolios tend to outperform their male counterparts, domestically and internationally. “ Forbes Magazine
Educate The Girls And Feed A Community
Nonetheless, girls and women are subject to some measure of discrimination in just about every area of their lives and in all jurisdictions on every continent. The attack on Malala shows just how much against educating women many are in societies around the world and not just in her homeland.
“It has been shown that an educated girl will reinvest 90 per cent of her future income in her family, compared with 35 per cent for a boy. And yet 250 million adolescent girls live in poverty and are more likely than boys to be uneducated, to be married at a young age, and to be exposed to HIV/AIDS. Today, less than two cents of every international development dollar goes to girls – the very people who could do the most to end poverty. As long as girls remain invisible, the world misses out on a tremendous opportunity for change.” The Girl Effect
Girls and women education has the power to transform not only their own lives but also the lives of their families and their communities.
Just this past March, my 12-year-old son completed his exams for entry into high school next September. The preparation for this test was grueling even with the support of private tutors. A group of parents and I, largely women, came together to further help our children.
Motivated, we spent our every waking and free from the day job hour doing this, not only by the fact that we want our children to get high marks, but we ALL were university educated. As we went through the paces with the children – boys and girls – one thing was clear, were we not all college level educated, our support would have been woefully inadequate.
College Education For Girls Is Not Problematic, Silly!
There is no way, even in my wildest dreams, could I agree with such a statement and, worse yet, extreme ideology on women’s education.
Whether for social or religious reasons, parents like Mrs. Duggar who choose not to allow their daughters access to education, that choice has to be respected. There is, however, a certain amount of hypocrisy with that decision.
Mrs. Duggar and families who think as she does, are heavy consumers of goods and services that are directly and indirectly created through the efforts or influence of educated women. As the mother of eight girls, does she realize the vast potential and creativity she is blocking from the world?
Can you imagine the ripple effect on their community’s and even country’s development if these eight girls accessed formal/college education?
My question is: “Will any of these eight girls or if they have girls themselves, be willing to break ranks and take advantage of the educational system of their country?
While I am not holding my breath, it would be something to behold!
Speaking from my experience, and it is fair to assume yours as you are reading a blog written for and by women (and a man) with more than basic education, my life would have been so much more difficult without college education. It is short-sighted and ignorant to think that a woman cannot successfully manage a career outside of the home, household responsibilities and fulfilling relationships, including marriage.
Educating girls, Mrs. Duggar, is not problematic! I say: “More Power to the Educated Woman!”
Do you? Share your thoughts and experience with the educational system with us and be sure to forward this blog and posts to your friends – educated women and all!
Photo sources: abcnews.com and albumarium.com