Female Education In Nigeria
Providing girls with an education helps break the cycle of poverty: As such, educated women are less likely to marry early and against their will. Gender inequality in female education affects both girls and boys, and women and men, but girls and women are still more often disadvantaged.
UNESCO is committed to promoting gender equality in and through education systems from early childhood to higher education. Gender equality is a global priority for them. While World Education believes that female education is the single most effective way to improve the lives of individual families as well as to bring economic development to poor communities worldwide. By improving female education, World Education helps women develop skills that allow them to make decisions and influence community change.
According to UNICEF, despite progress in recent years, girls continue to suffer severe disadvantage and exclusion in education systems throughout their lives. An estimated 31 million girls of primary school age and 32 million girls of lower secondary school age were out of school in 2013. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest proportion of countries with gender parity: only two out of 35 countries.
Women in Nigeria have had various challenges in order to obtain equal education in all forms of formal education in Nigeria. Education is a basic human right and has been recognized as such since the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. A positive correlation exists between the enrollment of girls in primary school and the gross national product and increase of life expectancy.
Female Literacy Rate Distribution in Nigeria in 2013
Reasons behind the disparity
- Culture, values and tradition: According to work done by Denga, one prominent cultural view is that it is better for the woman to stay home and learn to tend to her family instead of attending school. The ‘Nigerian tradition’ was explained as a tradition that attaches higher value to a man than a woman, whose place is believed to be the kitchen.
- Cost of education: The decline in economic activities since the early 1980s has made education a luxury to many Nigerians, especially nowadays that government schools are not educationally attractive and private schools are NOT affordable to many. Nigerian parents are known to invest in children according to sex, birth order or natural endowments. Often the family can only afford to send one child to school. Because daughters have assumed responsibilities in the home, she is less likely to be the one to attend school.
As females, women and mothers in Nigeria, we have experienced this disparity. For those of us that managed to be educated even up to secondary school level or any level, we should encourage the younger generation to educate the girl child, as well as the boys.
- When you see a kid hawking on the street during school hours, speak against it.
- Educate your children, no matter the sex. If there is no money to take the kids to school, home school them yourself.
- If you have neighbors that refuse to educate their kids, encourage them to send their kids to school. Explain to them the importance of female education and education generally.
- The more we over-look the act of not educating our children, the more we accumulate poverty in our society. Take Canada for instance, they accept migrate into their country with priority on their education. This way, their future citizens will be highly educated and refined.
Malala Yousafzi, the Pakistani schoolgirl brought to England after being shot in the head by the Taliban said “They will not stop me. I will get my education if it is in home, school, or any place”