(The article was forwarded by Azeem Farooki with following note:The Importance of Education for Women – an article written by Fatima Farooq was selected by Clarkstown High School South on this website. She is the first one who got this opportunity in 12 years and in recognition they gave her login to publish anything she writes in future).
The Importance of Education for Women
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Maya Angelou
Regardless of the fact that it is now the year 2016, issues such as the rights of women and the benefits of female education remain utterly controversial. There are no real disadvantages of teaching an entire population, so why is it that female education is one of the most popular subjects for popular debate? Knowledge, as symbolized and depicted in many illustrations, is shown as a lamp. And the only way to further this society, the only way to progress by the masses is to turn on this light.
The Fundamentals of a Society
Educated women really put the “fun” in “fundamental”. Literally. Since practically the beginning of time, men have acted as the providers while women were caregivers. They’re a part of every family, as mothers, and daughters, and sisters. Family can’t happen without them. Men are necessary to the process too, of course but we aren’t worried about them—the majority of them receive education already.
But women—when a man wants a child, she gives him a child. When he is away, she cares for and nurtures the child. And when this woman is raising this child, of course you want your child to be safe and happy and the best possible person that they can be. You want them to survive to grow old one day far in the future. Which is why you would want the mother to be educated, since according to the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, children with educated mothers are twice as likely to survive past the age of five. They can’t really grow old if they don’t get past the age of five. And if, miraculously if this child should survive, they will reach the age of war between nature and nurture. If you want this child to thrive, to live up to the expectations you so dearly held for them, you will provide for them the best conceivable upbringing. You will want an educated mother to teach your child right and wrong, to teach them manners and how to survive in a world of snakes while so closely resembling the innocence and goodness of their next meal. Do not allow the future to be snatched out from the gaps between your fingers and devoured—educate your women.
A Mind of Their Own
It is much too common these days, turning on the television or reading the newspaper or logging into nearly any form of social media and seeing something related to a woman either being left to fend for herself (and oftentimes her children) or are victims of an appalling issue that is shameful to admit still exists: human trafficking. Seeing as divorce rates are at an all-time high, women do need to have a plan in case things just don’t work out. And then they need a plan in case they have children and then things don’t work out.
Because if you are a woman without an education with an infant or young child to feed, it does not matter whether you are in a first world or a third world country. If you are hungry, if you want food, you have to work for it. If you are sick, if you need medicine, you need to pay for it.
And to pay for it, you will need a job. And in the highly competitive free-for-all wrestling match that is today’s job market, how will anyone get anywhere without a degree? Even if a woman is to get a job without a degree, it will most likely be badly compensated. According to UNESCO, just a single year of primary education has proven to increase a girl’s wages later in life by 20 percent. Just one year of education can increase wages by 20 percent, just imagine the benefits of a full education.
Of course, as the ideal situations in media are portrayed, a male superhero swoops in to rescue the struggling woman promising to make everything perfect. But realistically, there is not a superhero for every woman going through a hard time. And at the point of realization, women have to get up and save themselves.
Since women are most vulnerable to human trafficking when they are uneducated and poor, it is infuriating that there are a handful of countries are adamant in their opposition to female education. Indirectly, these leaders are supporting human trafficking by doing this to their female populations. Human trafficking is one of the most low, disgraceful crimes and anyone that assists in this blasphemy is just as equal a criminal than the one that committed it. Don’t be another statistic. Educate your women. Protect them.
The Economic Survival of a Society
Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. This is used to determine the economic potential of a country or region. Now, in areas when only men manufacture goods and work, the resulting GDP is half of what it can be. Now if we throw women into the mix, GDP increases by 3 percent when 10% of women attend school. Therefore if both boys and girls were provided with equal education opportunities, GDP would soar. And now, in a world where nearly every economy is struggling, scraping their fingernails to keep from slipping into the crater that is bankruptcy, well—we could all use some extra money.
When women are provided with education opportunities in safe environments to learn and thrive, they end up participating in business and economic undertakings and events. Increased earning potential and income prevent poverty-filled futures by allowing women to be able to support entire families. This is needed. This is needed for widows and single mothers and sick husbands. Empowering women is not shameful—it is enlightening the future.
Marriage and Family
Marriage is great. People happy together is amazing, but what isn’t is this: child marriage. Still a big issue in a number of areas, young girls (more commonly than boys) are married off at shocking ages. In underdeveloped countries, one in every three girls is married off before the age of 18. But, in areas where girls are provided with a proper education, these marriages are delayed by an average of five years. In terms of sexual safety, a girl who completes primary school is three times less likely to contract HIV. Looking into the future, education essentially has the potential to prevent AIDS in future children. Education has the power to cut out and entire disease. A disease with no cure. Of course the fact that once a woman is educated, she can work to find the cures of diseases no one has found yet goes without saying.
An education could be the universal solution to overpopulation. As per surveys taken in Mali, women that did not receive an education had an average of seven children, while those who did had an average of three. As fertility rates decrease over time, seven or more years in school and later marriages are a great elucidation of a largely disputed issue for a better and brighter future.
One day, sooner or later the sun will burn out and the world will be plunged into eternal cold and darkness and everything will die. Of course, as per scientific predictions this will take a few billion years or so, but the end is inevitable. There will probably be nothing left of the planet we call home, no one to look back on our accomplishments and the things we’ve done. We don’t have a definite timeline on how long our civilization is to survive. It’s very simple to map out things that have burned and died and collapsed, it is easy to map out the lives of the ones that came before us through artifacts and research but there is no way to predict how long we have. And in this indefinite amount of time, it is our responsibility; it is what we owe the earth that weaned us and the earth that we will return to, to be the best and to do the best for humanity that we can possibly do.
The sun and the stars and the moon may all burn out one day—but for right here and for right now, we still have the opportunity to turn on the light.
( posted by f.sheikh)