The importance of ensuring access to school for girls

“I used education for emancipation. I taught my students to unlearn the lesson of obedience. I taught my students to unlearn the lesson of so-called pseudo-honor.” The speech is Pakistani educator Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of activist Malala, during a TED conference in 2014. Malala was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, at age 17, that same year, for her extraordinary commitment to the human rights. of women. The Taliban shot her in 2012 for daring to go to school.

In the words of Malala’s father, there is every sense of an uphill struggle. A fight that will undoubtedly also be remembered on the 8th, when the world reflects the woman. Unlearning about obedience changes the parameters of what must be obeyed and questions its ends. Who is interested in female resignation? In the same way, unlearning about honor encourages a change in the concept of what honor is for the boy concerning the feminine. With that, he doesn’t look at the woman with inferiority as a servant. But as an equal in rights and duties. It changes everything.

The importance of ensuring access to school for girls

I could write endless lines about gender inequality, the historical heritage of that domination, and the horrendous consequences of this. But I will restrict myself to the so often violated right of girls to go to school and the importance to the world. In July of last year, during a visit to the Chilean capital, Irina Bokova, director of UNESCO, made a great warning. According to her, at least 62 million girls do not have access to education. In addition, women make up two-thirds of the world’s 758 million illiterate adults. In other words, it “harms all societies, holds back development, and undermines peace efforts,” Bokova added.

The importance of educating women in the media

The movie Girl Rising, released precisely five years ago, is one of the most representative of the struggle to guarantee girls’ education, in my opinion. It tells the stories of nine extraordinary girls living in developing countries (Cambodia, Nepal, India, Egypt, Peru, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan). At work, they face relentless circumstances to gain access to education. Through it, it is possible to meet Azmera, an Ethiopian who refused to marry force at the age of 13. Ruksana, a girl who lived on the streets of India and whose father sacrificed himself to provide his daughters with an education. And Wadley, a 7-year-old girl who lives in Haiti and, despite being rejected her teachers, goes back to school every day to demand her right to study.

Educating girls is to multiply consciences and stop inheritances of miseries and injustices. It is to spread egalitarian education for sons and daughters. At the time of the release of Girl Rising, Justin Reever, one of the documentary producers, justified the purpose of the film based on what he had been observing in several poor communities that managed to break the cycles of misery. According to him, the simple solution was to educate the girls. Justin recognized the power of transformation driven mothers who seek the best for their children. School education empowers girls. The lack of information about their rights deprives women of decision-making power. The lack of awareness of yourself, your potential, and your power to change as well. Another great film about women’s right to education is the award-winning “At five in the afternoon” (2003).

 

Kim Dearborn

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