Females are the most beautiful creations of the cosmos. The inner strength and capabilities of our female folks are demonstrated in every sector of life including personal and professional life. Strengthening their inner capabilities is a challenging task though. The challenges are compounded, especially when they are confined to the patriarchal mindset of male patriarchal society.
However, every problem has a solution. In this very context, the main weapon to empower women is education. Education plays a vital role in empowering every woman and girl towards their rights and freedom.
Education is the strategy to bring positive changes in the lives of individuals, society and nations ensuring better health, economic growth, peaceful and democratic societies. It is a stimulant for eliminating poverty, gender inequality, preventing illness which leads the world towards fostering peace and having healthy, happy and independent life for all.
The main means to empower women is education as it provides them with knowledge of their basic rights and also a major opportunity for financial independence. Most women and girls across the globe suffer from a scarcity of education and financial insecurities.
Education is a vital human right and plays a key role in human, social and economic development. Restricted access to education especially to rural women and girls, is one of the surest ways of bringing gender inequalities, domestic violence, transmitting poverty from generation to generation.
Education can promote gender equality, reduce child marriage, and promote peace and prosperity. It teaches the art of living. Through education every woman and girl get to know the purpose of life, they can entertain their rights, spend life through their dreams and aspirations. Educated women can properly nurture their children with better life relevant education, moral values. In this sense, they are also the producers of worthy and educated manpower of the nation.
In all walks of life, women are suppressed by their rights directly or indirectly. To fight against the adverse situation can be more challenging for women; however, it becomes easy when women are educated as it provides them with courage and strength to fight for their own identity and recognition.
The need for women’s empowerment is felt across the globe since women and girls are still subject to oppression and domination despite having a feminist movement. In Nepal, the rural women are victimised, especially with domestic violence that creates an explosive environment for them. As a result, they are forced to be exploited working outside for low wages and it is an urgency to empower them through providing education.
Many research studies have been conducted on this subject realising the importance of women’s empowerment. One of the research studies conducted in Madurai, in the Indian state of Tamilnadu, in December 2014 concluded that educational empowerment, psychological and political empowerment are vital predictors for overall empowering women and girls.
The study suggested that there should be an urgent need to create awareness among rural women to sensitise them about the recent development of science and technology, from this, they would not fall into the hands of superstitions and widen their perceptions of intelligence. In addition, they should be provided with basic life skills that make them independent.
Empowering women is one of the most crucial concerns of the developmental Goals of the United Nations. Women’s empowerment is a process whereby women become aware of their true potentialities, efficiently organise themselves in terms of being self-reliant, and aware of their independent rights to make choices.
Education is the best weapon to change the world (Nelson Mandela). Education plays a vital role in empowering women and girls. It is a key factor for women’s empowerment, prosperity, development and welfare. According to many research studies, the majority of the women is subject to inequality, vulnerability, traditional gender stereotypes and are suppressed and oppressed in all spheres of life. They need to be empowered through education indeed that enlightens them with the knowledge of knowing oneself, rights, freedom, justice and economic stability.
Women and girls are a powerful force for change. when we place them at the centre of development, we can break down the cycle of poverty. We can help them to be prevented from early marriage, marry only after setting up a career and completing a higher level of education, and become financially independent, choosing the right time for pregnancies after marriage.
We cannot eliminate extreme poverty without focusing on women and girls, and the barriers that prevent them from reaching their potential. When women and girls are placed at the centre of development many positive effects can be observed in the form of positive ripples, effects across their families, communities and nations. We have the opportunity to witness the world as heaven place to live in as the world becomes more stable, secure, resilient and prosperous.
In accessing women and girls to education, family plays a great role too. If any cultural barriers are preventing them, they should be identified and need to solve the problems of the particular barrier with a possible solution.
Empowering women starts with you and me. Motivating women and girls towards achieving their best would be the best solution to free them from being subject to any discrimination. This motivation fits them with beautiful wings on them to pursue a world of beauty and freedom. Helping women and girls to realise their strengths makes them exhibit their talents and skills with confidence resulting in a gender violence-free environment. It can make positive changes, especially to those women and girls who are vulnerable. Service to humanity is service to God.
Government, NGOs and INGOs should take this issue under serious consideration. They should make a strong initiation with an action to educate girls and women to have a prosperous nation. In addition, they should also be provided with some vocational skills and life relevant skills so that they remain prevented from being a subject of injustice. The educated female society also ensures a healthy nation free from social absurdities.
(The author teaches English at Global College of Management and Samriddhi College)