Rural women miss out on education — and decent jobs

March 9, 2012
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The following is an excerpt from an article written by Pauline Rose, director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, in the World Education Blog.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Pauline Rose, director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, in the World Education Blog.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, “Empower Rural Women,” sheds light on the struggle that many poor, rural women face in completing even the most basic education — a finding that is backed up by new data analysis by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report team.

Over 70% of the world’s very poor live in rural areas, and the population of the developing world is still more rural than urban, according to the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development, suggesting that a large number of women face such discrimination.

The rural disadvantage is particularly strong in certain groups. Many pastoralist communities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, for example, face extreme educational disadvantage. They often rely heavily on boys for tending cattle and girls for domestic duties, so education loses out. In the North Eastern Province of Kenya which is predominantly pastoralist, only 30% of boys and 20% of girls enroll in primary school, according to the 2010 Global Monitoring Report.

One possible solution to these problems is second-chance programmes for adults who dropped out or never went to school, which can strengthen gender equity in rural areas. Such programmes can be particularly beneficial when basic skills training is combined with enhancing livelihood opportunities. For example, the Employment and Livelihood for Adolescents centres run by BRAC, the Bangladesh-based NGO, teach life skills and income-generating skills, including in agriculture.

The 21,000 training centres in Bangladesh also offer microfinance loan opportunities, allowing women to establish a small business by investing in poultry, livestock, nursery, vegetable cultivation and other areas — and thus develop their skills further. The benefit of this programme is that it is relevant and tailored to rural needs.

Click here to read the full article.

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Women education in Pakistan
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Gender discrimination is quite common when it comes to education in the 3rd world countries, specially the South Asian countries. In Pakistan, the rural tradition has it that women should stay at home and shouldn’t seek education. It’s against their traditional values. Moreover, the economic constraints don’t allow women in the rural areas to get educated. Additionally, Girls get married in their mid-teens, hence never get to complete their basic 10 year education. These issues are of a severe nature and must be resolved to improve the social class structure of countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan. The Social stratification theory… Read more »