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, sadly 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 realize 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.
Everybody has the right to education, which has been recognized 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 realize the value of women’s education and make efforts to bring about change so that the whole country benefits.