Education is undoubtedly a necessity for empowering women in a society. Its significance is not only limited to developing the personality of an individual but also plays an important role in economic, social and cultural development; education shapes women as confident, well-informed, independent individuals who play important roles in societal and national progress. Even though the percentage of female enrolment in educational institutions in Pakistan has increased substantially, unfortunately, some girls are still unable to get access to this basic right because of a number of factors like societal customs and norms, poverty, discrimination, lack of infrastructure, and general lack of awareness regarding the importance of education for women. Women make up almost half of Pakistan’s population and therefore its human capital — capital that can be more effective if it carries the tool of education.
Education makes a significant difference in the lives of women on many levels. It enables them to make better life choices, respond to challenges that they might face, protect themselves against exploitation by being more aware of their rights and by increasing their political participation, to become part of the decision-making process and influencing the direction of social change. Education also improves women’s health, helps them become financially independent, and equips them to devise ways for their own and their families uplift. Educated women can have better employment opportunities helping decrease women’s poverty and subsequently that of the country.
Female education is pivotal for any society’s progress, as it is women who, as mothers, build a family’s value system and attitudes. Educated mothers are better equipped to make decisions about their children’s health and education, help them make career choices while at the same time shaping them as the kind of human beings they would eventually become; educated mothers are more likely to inspire compassionate values in their children. Women’s education, and social and economic standing determine the future of the generation they bring up; educated mothers can empower entire generations bringing about socio-cultural and economic betterment.
In the New Year, one of the most important areas we need to focus even more on is female education. Great work is being done in this regard but the urgency to achieve the goal of universal literacy for women is ever increasing. In this regard, all of us have to pitch in; most importantly, women have to play the leading role. Those of us who are more fortunate and have a voice should work towards ensuring the same for other women. Particularly, more women in education system should work on devising strategies that could help educate women who do not have access to educational institutions for any kind of reason. Changes and advancements in technology have revolutionized education and paved new ways to access knowledge. We should make use of this advancement and focus on increasing female literacy through more unconventional and out-of-the-box methods. After all, through education, women are not only empowered to flourish socioeconomically and make better decisions for themselves, but society in its entirety is bettered by a greater presence of female voices.
Happy New Year! HH
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