Sad, but true, even as we usher in the 21st century, there are instances of gender discrimination in schools and society, at work, and even by the providers of education. The bias is baseless and inhumane, yet it continues. In this OpinionFront article, we will discuss the subject in detail.
Education has come a long way, from that of traditional religious texts to global awareness, but not the attitude of providers in certain countries. It is sad to see millions of girls being sidelined for no apparent reason. This has many far-reaching effects on the victim and in the case of girls, the result is mental and physical bondage.
The Crux of the Matter
Throughout history, all over the world, woman empowerment came only later. Young girls and women have been treated secondary to men. Not a single nation can claim to have always been free of this social evil. Till some point in recorded time, societies offered women a lower rung on the ladder of success. This disparity showed up in the home through employment discrimination at the workplace and even in relationships.
Where did this spring from? The route of human evolution propagated throughout history, in world religions, has ‘man’ first. Probably, the physical ability for early man to be able to venture out, take more risks, and provide for the rest of the family simply rippled down the ages. Thought, anywhere and at anytime, delves in the known only. This is the best possible explanation for male chauvinism and paradigms of society being redefined to accommodate the evil.
Unequal Opportunities and Gender Differences
There are numerous issues that begin with instances of young girls not being given the opportunity to study and avail special education in the modern world. Although governments across the globe are making a serious attempt to fight and root out the evil, it prevails and raises its ugly head from time to time. It is not uncommon to see girls being given primary education, while the boys are educated right through, even if it means living a hand-to-mouth existence and starvation.
Most underdeveloped and developing countries have this evil rooted like the runner grass. It prevails because of the diseased social parameters that are set generations back and allowed to thrive even amidst change. Women, in these countries, are sometimes educated with marriage as the culmination of the effort. This is sadly the state of affairs even in the so-called ‘upper middle class’ and rich families.
Effects of Gender Discrimination in Education
In a society where a male child is treated as ‘wealth’, an uneducated girl who not only stands to inherit any ancestral property, but also incapable of becoming a working woman and securing a job if there are marital problems. From her birth, the shadow of female infanticide looms large and throughout her growing years, she is never more than an expense.
This makes the girl always feel inferior and a victim of child abuse. Though such situations are rampant in the face of extreme poverty, it is not that the monetary brighter segment of society is devoid of it. However, the bias once sowed ripples through the family, subsequent generations, and society. The repercussions are severe, making women vulnerable to emotional abuse.
Discrimination in the field of education results in individual tragedies, and finally, tells on the rate of progress a society or a nation makes. The status of women in a society has a direct effect on its health. In many countries and societies, young girls are not educated since she is considered a strain on the family’s resources. Without education, she cannot even voice her opinion, stand up for herself financially or emotionally, or battle the discrimination from a social pulpit.
Women have come a long way in many societies around the world. It is not that there has been no shift. However, the shift is slow in some societies and evident in others. The problem is not with the number of instances coming up each day, it lies with identifying an effective measure to eradicate the economic predicament. The attitude that results in widespread neglect needs to be ‘treated’ and drained off social support. It is only in a united stand that the focus will provide the right guidelines.
Citizens need to back the law and enforcement agencies and most importantly, believe in the power of equality. The fight is not to determine the ‘first among equals’, but to enjoy a rostrum that is conducive to collaborative effort and a balance that is willed by nature.