The genius who claimed the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 once quoted “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of mind to think.” And so every person needs the power of education to enlighten themselves and become a better person to contribute in the society. Being a basic necessity and need of everybody, in most societies and countries, girl child are deprived from it. The proportion of educated girls in the worldwide, particularly in India, is extremely low as when contrasted with the number of educated boys.
A major portion of the Indian culture and society still discriminates the population on the basis of their sexual orientation as the difference of abilities. And girls are at times thought of as incompetent and not skillful enough as boys. Various communities tend to think of girl child as burdens and because of such mindset of the guardians and society keeps girls at a bay from receiving proper education or basic education at all.
An educated girl can educate their entire family and in every region of development girls’ education is most vital. From addressing sensitive issues such as promoting children’s and women’s endurance rates and health issues, child marriage, empowering women both at their workplace and also at their homes, and uplifting the position of girls and women in society altogether. The power of education is perceived to be the important key to terminating poverty and crime against females as it can assist an individual to be smarter, learn new things, and know about the facts across the globe. For the nation as a whole, it can be regarded to be the grounds of our community because it is one of the quickest and most efficient methods of encouraging economic growth. For the improvement and development of any society or the complete world, girls should be well educated.
Back in the old days, even a few considered and regarded education of girls and women as a taboo and believed it to be a jinx. Even though times have changed tremendously, yet a few things prejudices still exist as before.
Challenge #1: Survival –
Yes! The Darwinian theory of “Survival of the fittest” is prevalent everywhere and here the most!
Despite of the number of laws that strictly prohibit sex discrimination against a foetus and don’t allow forced abortions, this still remains a commonplace practice in the shadows. This not only has an adverse impact on the number of female children born, but it also affects the expecting mother.
Women are mentally pressurized to conceive a “boy” and face a significant amount of hardship in case it ends up on the contrary. A number of pregnancies with the hope of a boy as a consequence take a toll on the physical as well as mental health of the soon-to-be mother, as she gets blamed for the sex of the baby.
Stricter laws, their implementation and monitoring of such abnormal concepts along with increased awareness of such delicate and crucial matters is essential to help the girl child survive.
Challenge #2: Lack of proper quality education –
As per recent studies, the national data has revealed that the dropout rate of girls at the elementary level is 4.10% which ultimately rises to 16.88% at the secondary level. And these figures are even substantially higher for girls from the lower and vulnerable groups of society (19.05% for SC and 24.4% for ST groups). Further, the retention rate of girls at the elementary level is 70.6% which gradually drops to 55.5% at the secondary level.
Due to the judgemental norms and the existing attitudes regarding girls’ education, safety concerns, the distance between home and school, lack of affordable sanitary napkins, absence of separate and functional toilets, and poor school infrastructure contribute to a huge part of several teenage girls being trapped at home and become irregular in attending schools or drop out before completing their schooling.
A survey study revealed that out of every three only one girl in India completes her schooling and education age-appropriately.
Challenge #3: Child marriage –
As per the Census about 3 million children below the age of 14 that are married and out of 12.15 million children married in India, 8.9 million are girls, and married girls are three times the boys. Although prohibited by the law, child marriage ruins every girl’s childhood and robs it from their life as they step into adult roles that they are unprepared for childhood as they step into adult roles that they are unprepared for. Marrying at a relatively early age becomes challenging as the girl is put in an unexpected situation which she has very or no knowledge of at all – be it managing households, bearing children, making decisions and so on. Not only does it hamper her schooling, but it also pushes her towards immense amount of stress and household circumstances, where she might be forced to bear a child for which is neither mentally nor physically prepared and this pushes young girls into early pregnancy which harms the health and nutrition of the young mother as well as her child leading to malnourishment and ill-health.
Challenge #4: Abuse, violence and safety concerns –
Being an easy target, girls are usually more prone to being physically, mentally or emotionally abused. Cases of domestic violence, kidnapping, abduction and sexual offences against children were among the top two crimes committed in the country. A recent survey by the National Crime Records Bureau revealed that among the number of children who went missing, almost 70% were girls and 28% of all rape victims were girls under age 18. These instances have made parents really reluctant to let their daughters out of home and send them off to school fearing for their safety.
Challenge #5: Less equipped/ inadequate school infrastructures –
Due to extreme social taboos, lack of affordable sanitary napkins, unavailability of decent functioning toilets, lack of awareness of physical health, and inadequate proper school infrastructure, numerous teenage girls tend to avoid going to schools in and after the onset of their menstrual age.
Why does every girl child need to be educated?
People are still ignorant as to how the education of the girl child can transform lives for the better. It is truly a sad state of affairs when people across socio-economic strata think that investing in a girl child’s education is a waste of money however would rather justify it by spending mindlessly on their daughter’s marriage expenses or dowry instead of their education and this indeed is a disheartening sight to witness. Exposing the younger ones to education at an early age will not only serve as an instrument shaping the progress of a society but also help to reform society as a whole for the better. An educated girl is empowered, knows the difference between right and wrong and is capable of looking after herself. Therefore, a change in the mindset towards girl child education in India and in every other society and country is the need of the hour. Every life is precious and thus every girl child must be treated equally with love and respect without any discrimination or gender inequality.
When we invest in educating a girl, we contribute to our society:
- A precious life of a girl
- Growth in the national rate
- A lower number of child marriages rates
- A lower number of child mortality rates
- A lower number of maternal mortality rates
- A lower number of forced abortions
So, how can we build a society where the education of girls child that is free from the shadow of discrimination? Here are 7 reasons and facts to explain why our society must encourage girl child education –
Reason # 1: Make society a more stable place –
Education forms a strong foundation and offers strength and versatility which allows the nation to improve at a quicker rate from any dispute in a more sensible and apprehendable manner. The overall quality of education at large will assist to prevent disputes from arising in the first place by giving knowledge on social skills, problem-solving, and critical thinking at schools and educational institutes. Education becomes an essential essence to girls and secondary education can be a transformative perspective in their life to help them build their personalities.
Fact #2: Reduce gender inequality –
Even though times have changed a lot, gender equality continues to be a prevalent problem because of the persistent gap in terms of access to chances for women and men and how society presents it to them.
Our Constitution provides every single individual citizen of the country the “Right to equality” as a fundamental right that every human being is entitled to regardless of race, sexuality, ethnicity, or religion. However, ironically, the role that men and women play in society is completely determined on the basis of their respective genders and as a result, there is a gender gap. But when girls in every community are more educated, it creates more influence on gender equality.
As women claim their right to equality, it becomes a powerful value of societies as women in governance tend to fight for underprivileged groups and emerged from the leadership of a woman government also becomes more prevalent, and when women lead, women push for more impartial rules of governance putting a stop to the end to such inequalities.
Reason #3: Give them the power to make their own decision –
Educated girls are aware of their needs and want and hence are smart and decisive. They possess the courage and independence to make decisions that can change their lives, they are better promoted to examine the social imperative that women are capable of doing a lot all at the same time. Receiving education enables young minds to absorb new ideas and allows them to think beyond cultural standards and continue their desires to live and lead better life.
Fact #4: Strengthen the economy to fight poverty –
One of the most obvious and helpful benefits of educating a girl child is the ultimate prospect for the economic development of a country. And as a result, it creates an impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate with an increase in women’s education participation. When women are not stripped of the privilege of receiving education, it helps the whole economy to develop and allows it to flourish.
Fact #5: Bring a positive change for the upcoming generations –
Citizens are the backbone of a nation and hence the primary step towards developing a healthy future generation begins with educating a girl who thus becomes an educated woman. Educated and empowered girls of the community can become play various potential roles as future leaders, directing them towards transformation, and building more powerful and significant societies than ever existed. This although not directly related but will also lower the cases of abnormal abortions, foeticide and female infanticide, improved maternal health, more awareness regarding female health and an overall decreased rate of child marriages.
Reason #6: Opt choice of profession –
An educated girl is aware of her requirements and hence is rational and decisive. Educating a girl is of vital importance as she can express her needs to understand her passion and options and thus pursue and excel in whichever profession she feels she is best suited for.
Fact #7: Improved life, health and standard –
Educating a girl is simply improving her standard of mental and physical health along with blessing her good and prosperous life ahead. An educated girl is aware of and can read and learn about her rights. She won’t be trodden down about her rights and these small things will help create a bigger picture of improving her life in general. Educated girls and women are well versed in the importance and health and hygiene and this undoubtedly will lead them to a healthy lifestyle. As vital as it is education is the most influential and vital weapon that is the key to solving the difficulties of human lives.
Encouraging and investing in educating a girl can seem like a small step but it has the greatest potential of transforming a community, country and the entire world. Educated girls understand the value of freedom and develop a better morale conscience and as they are capable of deciding what is good and what is not for them, they can make their own decisions as a result they are less likely to marry young and more likely to lead healthy, productive lives.
Educated girls have the potential of strengthening the economy and reduce gender-biased discrimination and establish equality. They are accomplished enough to earn higher incomes, participate in the decisions that most affect them, and build better futures for themselves and their families eventually making society a better place. This not only will contribute to making society a more stable place but will also help each and every individual to reach their fullest potential; including those in which they are often under-represented.
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