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Why women should be educated

By Sade Afe
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Women are an integral part of a family, a culture, a society and most importantly, a nation. In order for a woman to excel in all these spheres, she needs to be backed by quality education. This, sad to say, in many countries, is not being carried out. Why is this so, when so much emphasis on education is being placed nowadays?

An ancient Sanskrit saying says, woman is the home and the home is the basis of society. It is as we build our homes that we can build our country. If the home is inadequate, either inadequate in material goods and necessities or inadequate in the sort of friendly, loving atmosphere that every child needs to grow and develop then that country cannot have harmony and no country which does not have harmony can grow in any direction at all.

That is why women’s education is almost more important than the education of boys and men. Gender inequality in education is extreme. Girls are less likely to access school, to remain in school or to achieve in education. Education helps men and women claim their rights and realise their potential in the economic, political and social arenas. It is also the single most powerful way to lift people out of poverty. Education in schools plays a particularly important role as a foundation for girls’ development towards adult life. It should be an intrinsic part of any strategy to address the gender-based discrimination against women and girls that remains prevalent in many societies.

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Everybody has the right to education, which has been recognised since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. Cultural and traditional values stand between girls and their prospects for education. One reason for denying girls and women their right to an education is rarely articulated by those in charge: that is their fear of the power that girls will have through education. Basic education provides girls and women with an understanding of basic health, nutrition and family planning, giving those choices and the power to decide over their own lives and bodies. Women’s education leads directly to better reproductive health, improved family health, economic growth, for the family and for society, as well as lower rates of child mortality and malnutrition. Therefore, we must realise the value of women’s education and make efforts to bring about change so that the whole country benefits.

PROBLEMS OF WOMEN EDUCATION IN NIGERIA AND SOLUTIONS

Women are nation builders, they add life, spice and beauty to every home. The happiness of a woman is really hard to hide, as it shows in everything she does. Little wonder why more and more companies employ more women as their unique skills, their soft and amiable side brings about growth in companies and establishments. Despite the increased preference for women, a lot of women are not qualified enough to take on key positions due to the low level of education they receive. We are interested in identifying the problems of women education in Nigeria and solutions ( probable ).

  1. POVERTY
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Poor families which many children usually do not have the means to send all their children to school. They would prefer to send their male children to school while the females stay back and work so that their brothers could be educated.

  1. INEQUITY

Girls are not given equal opportunities to further their education like their male counterparts. This is because they are seen as inferior to men in some families.

  1. IGNORANCE

Many people live in ignorance of the fact that women in high places are great achievers. They assume that a girl should not be ‘too educated’ as basic education is enough.

  1. EARLY MARRIAGES

Early marriages cut short the dreams and aspirations of the girl child. Most husbands would not support their young wives when it comes to being more educated.

  1. PUBLIC ORIENTATION

The general belief that women end up in the kitchen is a barrier to women education in Nigeria.

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA

The flashy lifestyle of superstars such as musicians and the likes as portrayed on social media give girls the impression that they don’t need complete education to succeed, hence many refuse to further their education.

  1. BAD LEADERS

Some leaders convince their followers that educating their female children is pointless and only a waste of resources. Hence low girl child education in Nigeria.

  1. RELIGION

Religious fanatics hardly educate their female children to a reasonable level. They believe education corrupts the girl child.

  1. ADEQUATE POLICIES

Adequate policies are not in place to adequately fight for the education of the girl child.

WOMEN EDUCATION IN NIGERIA SOLUTIONS

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There are ways to improve the level of girl child education in Nigeria. This includes

  1. PUBLIC SENSITISATION

The public should be sensitised on the need to educate girls. They should be made to understand that girl education is not evil, and is as important and educating the males.

  1. EFFECTIVE POLICIES

There should be policies that would actively fight for the right of the girl child to proper education.

  1. END TO EARLY MARRIAGES

Early marriages should be stopped so as to allow girls to go to school and become empowered women.

  1. JUSTICE AND EQUITY

There should be no restrictions when it comes to female education. They should be seen as having equal right to education as the males.

  1. SCHOLARSHIPS

Government and individuals should give scholarships to deserving girls from poor families that cannot afford educating them.

Women should not be looked down upon. We should realise that in educating a woman, we have educated a nation.

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