Women all over the world have become the subject of debate, particularly in the developing countries in Africa, Latin America and some parts of Asia and Middle East. Most women in these parts of the world are victims of male dominance, domestic slavery, sexual oppression and educational deprivation, all of which are generated from religious beliefs or social rigidity against women.
Male chauvinists and religious extremists consider women’s enlightenment, emancipation, and urban liberation as culturally wrong, a detachment from family duties such as catering for household chores and raising children.
Moralists find the education of women as a western policy of exposing “the daughters of eve to the naked glue of the naked eyes which will amount to sexual temptations and an invitation to sin with the “daughters of Jezebel”. Even in the early 19th century, women’s education was seen as a wasteful exercise. Luckily, by the middle of the same century, any negative opinion about women’s education has been decisively opposed.
In fact, it was around that time that an old feminist maxim, “educate a woman, you educate a nation” came to light. Some of the major social problems we have today, such as prostitution and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), VVF and early marriage, teenage pregnancy can be virtually wiped out by educating women who are directly the victims of these social ills. Otherwise, our national policies or even global agenda aimed at education, social and health development will only be a waste of time without the inclusion of women.
In the present century, it is apparent that an educated and happy family is a prerequisite for development. Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that a woman is the nucleus of the family, a custodian of the family, and trustee raising the young and future generations.
Often, some parents and guardians regard educating a woman as a waste of resources, because according to them, “they are not full members of the family.” This view is a myopic idea of the African culture, which we must
collectively do away with to achieve a balanced development. We should let the primitive way of thinking pave way for sound civilization, if we are to attain sustainable development. Kudos and great bravo to the 1995 International Conference on Women held in Beijing, China, where most of the global problems affecting women were tackled. Some of the issues centred on education and women liberation. Statistics have shown that recent performance of women in various professions such as ICT, arts, politics, academics, research, etc. is a signal to the immeasurable contribution women can give to the world’s development.
In conclusion, those who have the view that women’s education is wasteful, have been proven to be living in the past; therefore, they should embrace the global quest for women education for even and sustainable development of the world