By : Alain Rostyoman

September 23, 2020

Education Inaccessibility for Females

Around 132 millions girls around the world are out of school. Predominantly within third world countries, millions of girls don’t have access to education whether it’s because of absurd child marriage rates or ingrained cultural ideas of sexism. According to UNICEF, 34.3 million girls lack even basic primary age education. 

Because gender parity is relatively new, developing countries face the issues that come with beliefs ingrained within cultures that certain roles must be fulfilled. A weighing and unethical characteristic to many cultures is child marriage. Child marriage is a huge factor contributing to inaccessibility to education with up to 12 million girls under the age of 18 getting married every year. 

It is believed in many cultures that when a girl begins to menstruate she has then transitioned into womanhood and should thus be married off. It is an old tradition stemming hundreds of years into the past that is often responsible for many toxic and dangerous arranged marriages. As they become “women” they must then fulfill their life’s duty to become a wife and mother. Millions get pregnant at a young age and because of poor healthcare, the maternal mortality rate, especially in Africa, is dangerously high. According to the DHS Program, 1 in 30 women in Nigeria will have a death related to pregnancy or childbearing. This only further prevents access to education for girls that have to care for their children at such a young age. 

The importance of investment towards access to education for girls across the world is often overlooked. With the proper investment and effort, greater access to education for girls results in national growth and development. This opens doors for greater equality, eliminates gender gaps, and provides opportunities for further national development and economic growth as more women join the workforce. 

There have been many strides taken in the world of activism to help further widen educational accessibility for women. Nobel Peace Prize awarded activist, Malala Yousafzai, is among the most recognised in the field. Her story is renowned for its representation of what happens when women try to fight for their rights to an education. Malala Yousafzai was only 15 years old when the Taliban sent a gunman to shoot a minor simply because she advocated for women’s right to study. Thankfully, Malala survived and grew to become the youngest ever Nobel Laureate with her being 17 when awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As she progressed to the role of an international role model, Malala’s story serves as an example of what girls in the third world can face when seeking an education. Malala Yousafzai saw and experienced the hardships of the issue at a young age and therefore worked to take steps in the direction of justice.

Co-founding with her father, she started the Malala fund that works to provide all women with a chance to follow their right to 12 years of education. The fund works to fight and reconstruct corrupt systems as well as ingrain new ideas to help cultural evolution in a localised sense. Malala’s story is one of many, and it is important that we put an end to the injustices of the uneven and unethical educational imbalances in their local culture.