You Deprive Our Girls From Education, But Education Will Never Deprive Our Girls
Imagine being an 11-year-old girl with a passionate vision for your future career one which you are determined to attain. Imagine being those young aspiring minds who dream to become the world’s next doctors, lawyers, teachers or journalists. Imagine these dreams crumble right in front of you as your parents tell you, “no more school, no more education”
Those words shatter a girl’s hope of a prosperous life. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to free, compulsory primary education. Yet, even in this day and age, so many girls in this world get that right taken away from them. The power of education should not be underestimated; it is one of the most powerful tools in the world. It is estimated that 70-100 million girls are without education around the world. This number is extremely troublesome.
Cultural and economic barriers are the most common reason for a halt on these girls’ education –families putting more emphasis on boys rather than girls. Areas such as south Asia are known for huge gaps in education between genders. Save the Children released a document called ‘Save every last girl’ and this report was truly eye-opening, to say the least. With more than 700 million women in the world married before their 18th birthday and one out of three of them married before they were 15, we need to work together – and work with girls – to ensure that every last girl is free to live, free to learn and free from harm. –
Other factors included were FGM – female genital mutilation. This barbaric and traumatic procedure takes girls out of education and forces them to grow up faster than their peers. -FGM is rooted in gender inequality and is prevalent in Africa and the middle east. 27 African countries are known to practice FGM and it has a damning effect on young girl’s lives. “Gender inequality and harmful social norms influence girl’s’ ability to protect and promote their sexual and reproductive health.” – report
In areas such as Tanzania and Nigeria, child marriages acts as one of the biggest barriers for girls in education, Save the Children stated that more than 700 million women were married before the age of 18 globally. Child marriage signifies the end of young girl’s life. Often married to significantly older men, the child is put through extreme circumstances, sometimes abuse, having children at a young age where the body isn’t fully developed and thus, leading to high rates of infant mortality. A quote from the report:
“74% of children surveyed in India agree that a woman’s most important role is to take care of her home and cook for her family. 66% agreed in Rwanda, and 11% in the UK.”
This highlights the severity of the issue. A lack of education is affecting children to think a certain way and thus, the cycle of no education will never stop. Yes, a woman can cook and take care of the family but she can also learn, educated herself. Women are allowed to have a career, allowed to feel empowered and still balance everything! If we compare the statistics from India to the UK, the regions of the world are seen as polar opposites. It can be said that thoughts such as those above are prevalent in south Asia and Africa, where culture often overrides all.
Other sources, such as the Guardian, state that parents often don’t want to send their girls to school – the dangers looming in deprived areas are overpowering. Sexual abuse, trafficking and slavery among the many dangers facing schoolgirls. The journey to school is often flanked with these dangers and if a girl leaves in the morning, she may never make it back home.
In the western world, education is often taken for granted. Schools are supposed to be a haven, away from the dark world, away from the evil and perverted ways of some. These girls who are stripped of this fundamental right, will never stand a chance in this world. They will suffer from the long line of injustice waiting for them. Education is the key. The key to leave poverty, establish a life for themselves, and helping others. These girls are going to be the future women of this world. We owe them the chance of a good life, which everyone is entitled to.
That’s why, it is possible to decrease the number of girls missing primary education. There are so many resources out there to read upon, to take lessons from. Whether it is challenging ignorance or going to an underdeveloped country physically to aid in teaching, the opportunities are endless. I urge you, the reader, to act. Stir the uncomfortable air around these subjects and tackle these situations head first. Do not be afraid to stand up for what is right, do not be sorry for your passion. Not every girl is lucky to have parents with the capability of sending them to school – I happened to have this blessing in my life and I wish to share this blessing with every girl in the world. Education is a right given to all humans. Education is the most powerful tool in the world and yet in 2017, we are still trying to give millions of girls a basic education. Malala Yousafzai stood up for what she believed in. She advocated relentlessly because Yousafzai knew, that if you speak out, you will be heard.
“I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.” Malala Yousafzai