Education and Gender Equality

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Gender equality has long been sought by various organizations and movements around the world. Huffington Post writer, C. M. Rubin, believes that accessibility to education will give women and girls around the world the step they need to continue the fight against gender inequality. Education will not only give girls new opportunities, but will boost literacy rates and create smaller family sizes and later marrying ages around the world.

In the words of Sir David Watson, Principal of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford, “these disparities [disparities in the number of women in higher education around the world]mean wasted talent and distorted views of what men and women ought to be able to achieve.” These attitudes encourage gender inequality in that they create strong ideals that women should live up to, whether they are expected to bear children or live as housewives rather than successful businesswomen or entrepreneurs. While there is a long way to go, Watson believes that an exploration of gender inequality should begin in the classroom.

Governor Madeleine Kunin weighs in as well, stating that “It is important for women of all income groups and religious and ethnic backgrounds to stand together. When women unite, they can be a powerful force. We must support one another.” She explains that education remains the “single most important key” to gender equality. Access to education allows women and girls to seek better lives in better economic conditions.

While schools around the world can have a huge impact on the fight for gender equality, other institutions such as corporations and businesses can influence inequalities as well. Professor Linda Scott at Oxford believes that “the most important thing the private sector could do to ensure an equal workplace would be to sincerely focus resources on tracking, target-setting, and measuring the compensation and advancement of women in their own ranks.”

By sincerely working to empower women through education and economic success, the current gender inequalities that exist around the world can be eliminated and replaced with mutual respect and opportunity.

– Sarah Rybak

Source: Huffington Post,UNFPA
Photo: Global Development

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