Education is a basic human right, yet there are millions of children who are deprived of this right. Constituting approximately half of the world’s population, women form a significant global resource. Therefore, girl education becomes important for the development of the society. It is often said, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family”. Needless to say, when girls are educated, they go on to better their lives and that of their families, communities, and countries.
Let’s look at some ways in which girl’s education can make a difference in society:
1. Improve socio-economic growth: Education is a way through which the vicious cycle of abuse, poverty, and subjugation of women can be disrupted. Educated women can lead productive, healthier and happier lives; thereby increasing the standard of living. If girls are not given basic education, it can hamper the stability and development of the entire world.
2. Reduce child marriages: Child marriage can result in the end of a girl’s schooling. This is primarily due to uneducated mothers without any effective measures to build healthy, educated families. On the other hand, if women are well-read, they typically marry later, when they are ready to shoulder the responsibility of their family and children.
3. Educate the next generation: Literate women understand the importance of education well and ensure that their children, especially the girls, receive a formal education. It makes them aware of their rights, improves their knowledge and skills, increases the chances of employability, and has a positive influence on society.
4. Decrease malnutrition: Educated women are well-aware of their surroundings and know how to keep their families and children healthy. This includes health care, better nutrition, sanitation and emphasis on overall health and well-being.
5. Empower women: Educated girls and women can make decisions that benefit their family and community. They are less likely to accept domestic violence and are always ready to take up cudgels against any form of injustice, for themselves and for others who might need their help.
Creating awareness about the importance of educating girls and addressing the issue of gender disparity in education, requires constant support from all stakeholders. Due to the global scarcity of resources, it is vital to adopt a coordinated and integrated approach instead of duplicating efforts and working individually without adequate consultation or collaboration. UPES, Dehradun has taken a small step to address this issue. The university gives 25% scholarship to all girl students for the complete program duration.
Girl education is the best investment that can be made anywhere in the world. In order to tackle the issue of gender disparity in classrooms, there needs to be greater awareness regarding the importance of educating girls among parents, educators, academicians and the community at large. Once the society is sensitised to this glaring issue, there may be a greater possibility that more and more girls will be educated.