Friday, February 05, 2010

WOMEN AND EDUCATION

This post is not directed towards people who live in west but to those who are part of under developed societies such as Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh etc. where most of the people are not covered by social support system.

I wanted to write on this subject for some time, since role of women and modernization has been passionately debated in Pakistan. We can leave the education system and term ‘modern’ for another post, but the post is intended for those who consider women to be a house bound entity.

The assumptions made in this post are:

1. Education at regular institutions is corrupt and no one should attend schools, colleges, universities.

2. Men should only attend Madrassa schools as only they have the key to righteous knowledge.

3. Women should not leave the house. The sole source of knowledge for women is supposed to be the family members, especially lady of the house or the books.

I do not have particular reason of concern with any of these, as our traditions, social norms and probably religious requirements may ask as to interpret such social and educational structure. Perhaps it is an excellent scenario for the half of our society, i.e. women. They do not have to bear the hardships of leaving house and facing the world for whatever reason. This may be held true in most realistic form of society but sadly we do not live in one.

There are certain aspects which are not addressed in this approach. Let us try to ponder upon them in a rational way.

a. Mother as a role model, source of knowledge and information:

It is a known fact that people are not always similar in terms of personal or physical characteristic. The aspects such as ability to think, store or interpret information and execute thoughts vary from person to person.

If you are leaving the task of training 50% of the society to outdated structure of acquired knowledge and personal interaction, then unfortunately one has to keep in mind all the discrepancies of human behaviour described.

b. Women are not suppose to leave house and pursue higher education:

This has a wider implication in our society. I have no problem with a notion of men being breadwinner of the household but discouraging women from acquiring higher knowledge impacts the society in whole.

Since such form of discouragement is so common in our society, girls at early stage starts to dismay from learning skills which may help them attain higher earning prospects in future. They usually conform to soft courses in colleges or even at university level which makes them least favourable in employment market.

I may have not been able to put my point across in precise manner but I do have few concerns related to the norms of our society related to women.

1. If women are suppose to stay at home, where can we get female doctors? Or is that not required in a perfect society?

2. What if a woman is met with unfortunate event of losing her father, brother, or worse, her husband? Who is she suppose to turn to? To meet her financial needs? For her shelter? For the food security? For the requirements of raising children if she may have?

Wouldn’t it be advantageous in such circumstances if she had a degree in a field which could help her to get a job and feed her family?

In my opinion, if we want to live in a harmonious society, keeping up with our traditions, our social and religious values, we must equip our nation with best and latest knowledge without gender segregation.

There is no problem in having separate schools for women and men, as this does not pose any significant threat to the advancement of a country or a society as whole, as women and men are made to coexist in a shell of family structure, where interaction cannot be avoided.

But I would like to see parents of our young generation encouraging their kids to attain best knowledge, so they are equipped to face the hardships of the real life.

Women should be free to make choices of their own, either they want to take up employment or not. Keeping in mind, our religious and traditional values stresses over women’s role as a family maker and household lady and financial terms to be dealt by men, they should be making a wise choice for them, depending on circumstances one has to endure.

One mould does not fit all.

5 Comments:

At 3:56 am, Blogger .:*SoaringAngel*:. said...

I completely agree with you!!! Everyone is free to acquire knowledge. We shouldn't discourage one just b.c she is a woman. In fact, i think it is equally important for a woman to be well educated since she has a very important part in bringing up the next generation (her kids).

 
At 8:00 pm, Blogger [[[ x Smiley x ]]] said...

I agree with you on this!
Education is very important esp for a woman, like they say if you educate a girl you educate a nation, a man's education is only for himself.

When it comes to careers I've noticed a lot of families tend to back down, as if saying someone else's daughter can go out there and be the doctor/lawyer but not mine.
Its just so strange!

 
At 8:02 pm, Blogger Tauqeer said...

Life is weird....isnt it ?:P

 
At 11:04 pm, Anonymous zreen said...

Well said ... In todays world it is Absoloutely crucial that a women can if needed go out and work to earn a living whether thats to survive herself or raise a family..

 
At 10:11 am, Blogger Americanising Desi said...

truly in today's world i thought things would be different - yet it all the same!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home