Female Education in
Development is considered to be an
improvement in the lives of people, place and things. It a process that people
all over the world desires for. A country with active population of both young
men and women will experience rapid development. Mostly developing countries
are being marginalized in the sense that young women are being denial access to
good education which has makes it impossible for them to contribute
tremendously to the development of their society.
Education is a “process of teaching,
training and learning to improve knowledge and develop skills” according to
Wehmier. Hence, education is a key which unlock potentials for everyone.
In most developing countries, female child
is being treated as an inferior to their male child. Parent considered it
wasteful of resource, time and worthless to send their female child to school
and most time they use them for settling of family debts.
Recent findings about the chronic and
prolong crisis in developing countries (India, Bangladesh, Cameroon etc..)
shows the important of education, nutrition and health because citizens of a particular
country are vital asset for the achievement of development. Education according
to Emile Durkheim is a vehicle for social transformation and means of
individual and community emancipation.
India constitution declares education as a
fundamental right but almost one third children do not attend school. Groups
that doesn’t have any access to formal education within Indian society are
female, Adivasis, Dalits, minorities, low classes and disable children. Dalits
are the most isolated people in Indian society having suffered for longer time
as a result of the practice of untouchability, segregation and denial of access
to multiple economic and cultural resource. Recent research shows that there is
a steady growth in the enrolment of Dalits ranging from primary to higher
education, during post-independence era, the proportion of Dalits girls going
to school is much lower than the number of Dalits boys or any other group. And
the level of illiteracy among Dalit women is much higher than those among upper
and middle-class woman. Education of rural Dalits compare unfavourably with
that of their urban counterparts. The quality of education based on the
performance of student determines the economic success of that student.
In developing countries, female education
has not been given much attention by policy makers and recent finding shows
that without the proper intervention and support from the government, it very
difficult to encourage and achieve female education for all female school age
Failure of government in promoting literacy
and primary education in a developing country reflects educational inequality
on the basis of gender, and the gender gap is much higher at the enrolment
level when compare in both primary and secondary schools. One of the major
problem face today is the retention rate because research shows the higher
dropout rates which are mostly common in rural areas than in urban areas.
In a developing country gender plays a
vital role in determining the chances attaining higher educational
qualification and literacy. Indian and Bangladesh society which can be said to
be a patriarchic society, segregate on the basis of gender and also
discriminates female using religious and caste system which has affected the
interest and growth of female in all spheres mainly education.
Sub- Saharan Africa has been recorder as
the poorest in human development among the developing countries because of its
low life expectancy rate and higher infant mortality, illiteracy rate.
Factors which trigger increase in female
education in a developing country as stated in the article are; Availability of
greater job opportunities for female, Introduction of policy that encourage
female education, encouraging of parents who sent their female children to
school, building of schools, introducing programs that helps reduce segregation
base on gender, poor countries are moving along the U-shaped curve as they
develop and that the curve has shifted over time. And in a developing country
female school enrolment is much lower than male enrolment.
Female workers stand to gain more in a
comparative advantage due to the fact that economic activity in developing
countries move from brawn-based / strength-based to brain-based work. Women
time in labour market increases due to reduction in fertility / birth rate. Gender
focused policies can be of a greater influence on female education, some of
this policy can be in the form of infrastructure. Building of more schools
within a community because more parents are sensitive / afraid of sending them
daughter to school that are of much distances. Some developing countries has
totally remove tuition fees in primary and secondary schools, this type of
policy helps parents to send them daughter to school. In Mexico parent are paid
by the government in order for them to keep their daughters in school. In India
bicycles are given to girls in order to make their travel to and from school
faster, and it has helped by increasing the number of female enrolment in
school by 30 percent. In Bangladesh it was observed that the banning of early
marriage / child marriage has helped in increasing female education.
Participation in Female Education
Some of the major factors which affects participation
in female education are as follows:
The chances of women
contributing to the development of their country is affected by the lack of their
formal education when compared to men. EFA (Education for all) recent findings
shows that education is only available for male in some Africa and Asia
countries. Making it difficult for women to gain employment because most of the
available jobs are being negotiable through the acquisition of education. The widespread
operation of patriarchal system, early marriage, early pregnancy, heavier
domestic and subsistence duties of females generally lower regards for the
valve of female life, which later affects female participation in education in
most developing countries.
In Nigeria a program that
emphasizes on equal educational opportunities was created by the government and
it has helps improve gender equality within the Nigeria society, the concept of
the program emphasizes on the importance of both genders in every aspect of
societal development. UNICEF 2003 findings shows that female child education
provides benefits for the girls, current and future families, and their society,
and they will be able to contribute to the political and economic development
of their country.
World bank 1993 findings
showed that an additional year of female education reduces fertility by 5 – 10 percent.
In terms of employment, women are not giving much opportunities as men, research
shows that veteran / military women experience higher unemployment rate than
military men. Employers prefer employing men than women because in most cases
the men are more equipped for the job because he is educated while the women
are not due to the deprivation she faced as she was not sent to school. And even
when they both have the same qualification employers still prefer men. Therefore,
some things that hinders female education and employment in developing
countries are traditional belief, family background, early marriage,
environment and early pregnancy.
lack of institutional provision for female child and the difficulties of physical
access to school affect girls more than boys. There is now an overall and
profound society dichotomy which are in favors to town, village and cities
mainly in respect of school provision (single sex schools) for girls. Transportation
patterns and migration affect educational provision which is considered as a
disadvantage to female education.
In most cases
the effect of poverty and malnutrition falls harder on girls than boys because
boys may get preferential feeding while girls are more likely to be undernourished.
Female education can contribute greatly to the development of a society by reducing
child and maternal death rate, improve child health and lower fertility. Women with
some formal education are more expose to birth control measures, nutritional
and other needs of their children than those with no formal education. The increase
participation of female children in school create higher chances in the reduction
of fertility rate over time. For example: a recent research done in Mali BY UNESCO,
shows that women with secondary / higher education have an average of 3
children while those with no education have an average of 7 children.
A child born to
a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5 than a
child born to an illiterate woman according to UNESCO. Mothers with secondary education
are twice likely to give birth more safely in health facilities than those with
no education according to research conducted by UNESCO in Burkina Faso. Problems
associated with family size and family planning are wide spreading in relation
to the possible participation in education and shows the need for sex/ health
education in schools. Therefore, it is clear that health factors has a great effect
on female participation.
religious factor is on
balance a positive one, though it is often overcome by the fundamental
socio-cultural bias in favor of males. The fact that most religious
practitioners and leaders are male makes for a powerful image in favor of that
sex, and it would be a very helpful move if religious leaders of all faiths and
denominations were to speak out strongly in support of the female cause.
Christian missions have, in various areas, had a most positive effect on female
education and literacy levels, though some have a legacy of harsh sanctions in
respect of early pregnancy. In Islamic areas the situation is generally not so supportive,
but a number of positive trends were apparent. The religious significance of
sons in the Hindu family, while still operative, no longer seems in itself to
disadvantage daughters. Often in contrast to the state system, and especially
at secondary level, denominational schools are well organized and resourced,
attracting stable, well qualified staff. This weighs heavily with parents when
deciding whether or not to send their daughters to schools, especially since
boarding facilities tend to be more favorable and secure.