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Education for Girls - A Fair Go.

Updated on March 14, 2013

Womens Empowerment will only come from girls education.

Girls' Education - and Women's Empowerment.

In Australia there is a phrase which exemplifies equality. I talking egalitarianism. The phrase? “A fair go.” A fair go means equal opportunity , tolerance, a ‘level playing field,’ and all manner of descriptive words pertaining to giving someone a chance to make good .

The Taliban completely outlawed education for girls.

There are a lot of areas in the world where a “fair go” is not given. One I’d like to deal with in this Hub is that of ‘Women’s chances of being regarded as equal world citizens- as far as education is concerned.’ Women, by and large, do not get a “fair go” when it comes to educational opportunities. In many countries they’re either ignored, repressed, and sometimes downright victimized. For example: In Afganisatan the Taliban completely outlawed education for girls.

A woman of the Middle East.

Take a look at the expression in this woman's face.  It says a great deal about how a great many women in the world are still being treated by us men.
Take a look at the expression in this woman's face. It says a great deal about how a great many women in the world are still being treated by us men.

You are educated: they are not: you have power over them.

Oh, I know that in what are regarded as ‘First World’ countries (America, Europe, Japan, et cetera) both girls and boys are formally educated. In these places both sexes have more or less equal opportunity to go on to tertiary education and make careers for themselves in their country’s respective workforces. Such nations probably make up less than half the world – maybe even less than quarter of the world. In most places, girls are either considered not worth educating, or are deliberately kept from it. And there are all manner of motives for doing so, most of which have to do with power. You are educated, they’re not: you have power over them

Why does it always have to be done the hard way?

Girls Education means real Womens Empowerment.   So let them go to school, too.
Girls Education means real Womens Empowerment. So let them go to school, too.

Education for Women - A "Fair Go."

If we go back in history, we find that education was the prerogative of the rich. Very few people received a formal education. Moreover, those that did were always in positions of power: the oligarchy; priests, and various rich merchants. Back in Ancient Greece they might have had democracy, but that applied only to those regarded as citizens. All the thousands of cheap labour who swarmed in through those city walls, the servants, labourers, and slaves from conquests, were not even allowed a say in things, let alone an education. Whether the womenfolk were counted as citizens, I cannot say. But I can’t think of any famous Ancient Greek philsophers, playrights or royalty who were women If there were, their names elude me.

The heirarchy ensured only men got into positions of power.

The same would have applied in Ancient Roman times. Rome went even further. When Christianity became inevitable, the heirarchy ensured that only men got into those position of power within the Holy Roman Church. It still applies, by the way. I don’t think there are many women priests yet, though I could be wrong.

The cops are only doing their job - but who asked them to do it?

Conservative powers didn't want women to attain to equal rights.   In most of the world they still don't.
Conservative powers didn't want women to attain to equal rights. In most of the world they still don't.

A deliberate ploy to keep women subjugated - you bet it was.

In Medieval Times, power resided in Kings, Barons and Earls and, of course, the very wealthy and established Church. Princes were formally educated. Princesses, on the other hand, were taught to sew and do embroidery. Well, perhaps I’m exaggerating here, but it seems there weren’t too many educated women around. And yes, I’m sure it was a deliberate ploy.

Women didn't get the vote automatically. It came from a long fight.

Then came more Modern Times. Democracy in the West. And, Lo - women didn’t get a vote. Goodness Gracious – women voing! What next! It took the Suffragettes and a lot of angst before women were even regarded as equal as far as voting rights were concerned. All this is well known, of course, but what about education?

Knowledge is Power, and Education is its key.

Most of us would have heard that “Knowledge is Power.” It is because knowledge – in this case I’m talking about formal school education – is a key to power, that it was kept so long from the masses. Royalty ruled. The Landed Gentry ruled. The Church ruled. They hogged that power. They really did have their ‘noses in the trough.’ Everyone else was feeding them. Unfortunately for them, along came the Industrial Revolution. Power was diluted among an ever-increasing band of clever entrepreneurs who, in turn, needed educated people to work for them. These educated people, in turn, set up employee originations, trade unions. The fight for equality was on...

Mary Pankhurst's Suffragettes in victory mood.

200 years after compulsory schooling in the West, kids in most Third World countries - especially the girls - don't go to school.
200 years after compulsory schooling in the West, kids in most Third World countries - especially the girls - don't go to school.

Tertiary Education for girls was about as rare as 'rocking horse manure' for most of our history.

And around this time: formal schooling. Both boys and girls could attend – and did. Though it was commonplace for girls to leave school early whilst many a boy could go on. Check the records and you’ll find that not many girls got into universities. Only the cleverest of the clever, those who won scholarships because they were absolutely brilliant.

Times have changed. As I said at the outset, in the West – the First World Countries – there is more of a “fair go.” It still isn’t absolute. But it’s a start. However, in most parts of the world this is still not the case. Women are still regarded as second class citizens, if they’re considered citizens at all.

The world is missing out a great deal by not educating half of its population.

What are we missing out on by not educating all girls? One helluva a lot. In Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and even the Middle Ages, most people were dirt poor. They lived lives of ‘quiet desperation’ then died young But when mass education began to take hold, the standard of living rose. Health standards rose. People began to live longer. And as more and more people go on to learning at schools, our material standards of living continue to rise.

Education for everyone - including the girls of our Third World Countries. Give 'em a "Fair Go."

I venture it will rise beyond our present comprehension once those who do not have access to numeracy and literacy become educated. All moral arguments aside, our world will greatly benefit when every world citizen, man or woman, black, white, brown or brindle are given “a fair go” and at last allowed to find their true potential. But our biggest example of unfairness and lack of “a fair go” today rests in the way the men folk of so many nations view their women. Until that changes, this world will be forever held from its fullest potential.

I hope you enjoyed Education for Girls - a Fair Go.


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