Data, statistics, and reports show that nations that have a high percentage of educated women do well in terms of-
- Better economic conditions, higher GDPs, and income-generating
- Have improved healthcare systems and infrastructure in place as compared to others.
- Incidents of Crime and Violence are lower in every aspect of society.
- Levels of overall literacy including the education of children are higher.
- Society is more aware and dynamic in social, economic, and political spheres.
In short, educating women plays a major role in contributing to the overall development of the nation and the world.
In this article, we speak to Nancy Etz, a leading name in the world of women’s education and scholarship. We request her to shed some light on the connection between education and women’s empowerment.
List of 5 Ways Education can contribute to Women’s Empowerment:
1. Poverty Reduction-
The first and direct impact of education is in the area of poverty reduction. If a woman can get an education, she can apply for jobs that can guarantee income-generating opportunities. This helps in gaining access to better food, savings, healthcare, and the development of children.
In the long-term, it can help a family come out of poverty as the woman contributes actively.
2. Improved Jobs Opportunity-
Most women in underdeveloped countries have to contend with low-paying jobs simply because they are not educated enough. Access to education can open a world of greater job opportunities that are great in terms of income and working conditions.
Women can go from helping in households to teachers, lawyers, and professionals simply because of education.
3. Betters Health Condition-
Illiteracy leads to women getting married and pregnant at a young age. This can hamper their physical health and ultimately affect the health of the child that is born. Countries with lower rates of women literacy have shown higher rates of child mortality. Education leads to marriages taking place at the right time and the positive health of both women and children.
4. Reduces Sexual Violence and Exploitation-
Educated women are more confident of themselves and aware of their rights. This helps them resist cases of sexual violence and exploitation. Education not only leads to awareness but also helps in confidence-building and the development of individual personalities. This can go a long way in reducing crimes against women in societies and create an equal society.
5. Opens Areas of Positive Discussions-
Just like discussions of sexual violence and crimes against women are a by-product of educated women in society, so too are conversations on global warming, better social services, and other important areas. Countries that have a higher rate of literacy among women tend to make decisions about climate change, deforestation, etc. This helps in the nation’s progress.
Why Women’s Education matters?
The late Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru had once remarked, “If you educate a man you educate an individual, however, if you educate a woman you educate a whole family.”
Women are more prone to reinvesting their incomes into the family. They have also been known to concentrate on areas like savings and insurance. Many studies have also shown that women in leadership positions are shown to demonstrate a higher level of emotional intelligence.
This helps in creating a better organization that is more attuned to getting success and better operations. While a start has been made, there is still a lot that needs to be done. If countries in the underdeveloped regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America need to progress in the true sense of the term, they need to empower the women population through education.
Governments and civil society groups need to play an important role in creating favorable conditions for the same. Programs with opinion leaders can go a long way in achieving the same.
The Bottom Line:
Women’s empowerment should be painted positively by people who matter. There is a certain negative connotation that has come to be attached to this term. While we all want to create a progressive society, we need to start from where it matters- women’s education.