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 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?
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.
Education is as important as air, food and shelter equally for both men and women. Girls in India are considered to be a burdon 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 on 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