How might education and work help to achieve gender parity?


How might education and work help to achieve gender parity?

How might education and work help to achieve gender parity?

Women must be empowered in order to attain gender equality. Exclusion, bigotry, and violence must all be put to a halt. The challenges are multi-faceted and complex. Formal education and career opportunities make a significant effect.

The origins of today's gender disparities can be traced back millennia. Economic dynamics and socio-cultural traditions both play key roles. Undoing the effects is a difficult undertaking, but it is possible.

Women's disempowerment is visible all across the world in a variety of ways. In terms of education, skill training, and employment, women have fewer options. Furthermore, women hold fewer tangible and intangible assets than men around the world.

Women are routinely paid less than men, even though they have the same professional ability and accomplish the same work. Wage disparities between men and women occur all across the world. Furthermore, women perform a disproportionate amount of caring and household work around the world.

Two more international phenomena are:

·       women's healthcare needs receive less attention than men's, despite the fact that they are more complex; and women's healthcare needs receive less attention than men.

·       They are especially vulnerable to violence.

While perfect gender equality has yet to be reached everywhere, international comparisons demonstrate that the biggest discrepancies are found in the global south. Several things are required for progress:

·       Access to tangible and intangible resources for women must be improved.

·       In both private and public matters, they must have a greater say in decision-making.

·       Women's and girls' well-being must be deemed as vital to men's and boys' well-being.

Although formal education does not address all problems, it is extremely important. First and foremost, reading and numeracy are critical in and of themselves. It is impossible to obtain and digest fresh information independently, let alone adequately handle money difficulties, without them.

Furthermore, schooling improves women's cognitive and intellectual abilities. It also allows them to understand their rights and gain access to government institutions such as the courts. Similarly, only people who are literate have access to sophisticated financial services.

Furthermore, research reveals that self-assured women have a bigger impact on their families, are more likely to reject sexual harassment, and feel more empowered to speak up in public. As a result, progress toward gender justice is dependent on a number of interdependent elements.

Better access to schools

Girls and women, without a doubt, deserve improved access to primary, intermediate, and tertiary education. They haven't caught up to their male counterparts yet. In 2010, the enrolment rate for girls in secondary schools in low- and middle-income nations was only 34%. In comparison, the boys had a rate of 41%. (see Esther Duflo, 2012). Indeed, between 1960 and 2010, the gender gap in schooling in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa widened. In both regions, the median difference in years of schooling between boys and girls was more than three years in 2010. (see Evans et al, 2020).

Formal education, according to Ester Boserup, a Danish economist who is regarded as a pioneer in the field of gender and development, is critical to job chances. "As long as females are subjected to the dual handicap of a familial education that undermines their self-confidence and of training facilities in schools and elsewhere that are inferior to those provided to boys, they will be poorer workers," she wrote in 1970.

Women are often required to work in order to earn money. They can start saving and accumulating assets if they earn enough. This pattern may be seen throughout history – or rather, "herstory" – in countries where women's status has improved. Gender inequities were minimised in areas where jobs allowed substantial numbers of women to become financially self-sufficient.

East Asian countries like Taiwan and South Korea, for example, have achieved greater progress than South Asian countries like India and Pakistan. The reduction in observed inequities in these places, according to gender historian Alice Evans (2021), can be attributed to women's engagement in paid work.

Virtuous cycle

In Bangladesh, where a virtuous cycle has emerged, a similar pattern can be seen. People are becoming increasingly interested in girls' education as a result of women's achievements in formal employment, while a better formal education improves women's career chances. This country was formerly seen as South Asia's "basket case," yet it now ranks higher than India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Index. Bangladesh was also the regional leader in terms of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It has a high literacy rate compared to other countries, as well as low maternal and child mortality rates.

Self-confidence is boosted by both education and paid labour. As a result, they help women to be more forceful in their personal lives as well as in public affairs. Household surveys gather information on consumer and investment decisions, as well as other elements of family life. Female education, in particular, determines how many children a family has, and ethical sex education is especially crucial. Contraceptive use becomes more popular as women have a better understanding of reproductive health and gain confidence in their relationships with their spouses.

The results clearly illustrate that women's influence in family life grows in tandem with their income and educational attainment. Domestic violence, on the other hand, is on the decline. Women who are educated are less likely to be abused. Furthermore, self-assured people may be more confident in rejecting unwanted sexual advances and outright harassment. Rapists still have a lot of leeways all across the world. Women may find it more difficult to bring perpetrators of sexualized violence to court if they are illiterate or financially dependent.

Institutions of formal learning, of course, play an important role in promoting gender awareness and notions of gender justice. Women in unequal cultures have a tendency to accept their circumstances as unchangeable. Girls are unlikely to fight exclusion from formal education if they have been historically excluded.

Girls and young women can have fresh experiences of liberty in places other than their homes. Particularly important are schools and universities. This is where students learn to question commonly held beliefs and behaviours. They begin to realise the structural structure of women's oppression when they discuss their experiences of discrimination, violence, and exclusion with others. As a result, educated women are more likely to join civil society groups, social movements, and political parties.

Health matters

The importance of women's education in improving health outcomes cannot be overstated. For example, increased awareness of nutritional needs benefits entire families. Better antenatal and postnatal contraception is obviously important, and not just because it reduces the risk of maternal and infant mortality. Domestic violence is not only bad for women's physical health, but it's also bad for their mental health. Their children will most likely benefit as well.

Formal education and work, on the other hand, are not panaceas for women's empowerment. Gender discrimination and abuse pervade both educational institutions and workplaces to some level – and often to a significant extent. Violence continues to be a factor in one's life. Furthermore, domestic tasks are still distributed unequally. Gender equity necessitates the implementation of public policy. At the same time, government action can – and should – boost educational and career possibilities. Prudent policymakers will do everything possible to start virtuous progress cycles.

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