Educational inequality and NGOs sample essay
You have, perhaps, never heard a discussion or symposium on the topic, “Men-their role in the society. ” The discussion is always about women. Men perhaps, have no role! This is not to say that the men can not do some of the jobs normally done by women. Even today the best chefs are men! The talk of giving equal rights and educational facilities to women goes on all over the world unabated. All the Acts of Parliaments in the world will not bring equality for women.
The change has to be achieved within-both men and women. How can you say that women need to be given equal rights? God has created her, given her the status of more-equal. Nobody can take that right away. It is the mother who gives ‘protection’ for the initial nine months to the divine creative force of the future male or female! A female child is victimized at every step of life, from the moment of birth. Women should be the legal and spiritual equals of men. Male and female are alternative beats of the same heart.
Discrimination against females contributes negative impacts as for the wellbeing of the society as a whole. The gender differences are transmitted from generation to generation. Their impact varies, softens or hardens, due to various social, cultural and political factors. Basically gender means the biological differences between females and males. “Gender refers to the meanings that are attached to those differences within a culture. ” ( Kimmel p. 3 ). Apart from the biological differences, other differences are human-made.
“Traditional gender ideologies and present changing gender norms affect the way gender is taught through the “hidden curriculum” found within every classroom today in America. Gender ideologies past and present influence the policies and the economic realities of education in today’s society. Education is one of the leading institutions that teaches and bolsters the gender inequalities which we see in America. ” (Our Educational…)Even the most enlightened find it difficult to transcend the concept of gender inequality.
The thorn will have to be removed by thorn. We say classrooms contribute to maintain inequalities; we also need to understand that the educational system implemented through the classrooms is the ideal place to make a start in educating the gender inequalities. Kimmel writes, “…the message students get, from both the content and the form of education, is that women and men are different and unequal, and that the inequality comes from those differences, and that, therefore, such inequality is justified” (p. 151).
As for removing the gender inequalities, NGOs can do a lot in awareness campaigns, running small model schools, but this great social malady deeply impacted by the cultural, religious traditions, can not be set right overnight. The political will of the people of a country to obtain equal opportunities for the subjugated female gender counts much. If one turns the pages of history of gender education, what used to happen a century ago seems unbelievable in the circumstances prevailing today. Stupendous advancement has been made by the female gender in education, and consequently on all fronts.
“When women tried to enter the classroom in 1900 at the University of Rochester, after it opened its doors to women who could raise money to build new dorms and facilities, “male students responded by stamping their feet, physically blocking classroom doors, and jeering at them whenever they appeared on campus” (Kimmel p. 153). World renowned intellectuals like Rousseau averred that women are created to give pleasure to men. The intervention of the NGOs has softened the attitude of the policy makers to a great extent. Four decades ago, before the 1970s, women had lees openings to obtain a good education.
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, provides an equal opportunity to all in educational programs and activities. “The average female pre-kindergarten teacher in 1980 earned $8,390, while her male counterpart earned $14, 912. ”in USA. (Kimmel, 2000). America has the special gender related problem, closely linked to its racial history of African American community. This is a highly complicated issue that needs to be viewed from attitudes about sexuality, culture, the role of the Black Church, Male dominance within Black communities, which obstructs the progress of women in the field of education etc.
“The process by which Black communities has arrived at its current situation, in which 54 percent of Black children live in single-parent, largely female-headed and less prosperous households, 68 percent of African-American children are born to unmarried mothers and 47 percent of the prison population and 29 percent of those who are confined to mental hospitals are Black. ” (Henry, 2007) So much about the global north as for the gendered educational inequality! As for the global south, if we take the example of a developing country like India, women in Indian Society are no better.
The conditions are slowly evolving in favor of women and emancipation of women is in sight and that is due to women’s education, diversification of their roles, bar to child marriage, encouragement to widow remarriage, occupational mobility etc. The urban women in India are better placed than their rural counterparts for obvious reasons. Most of the NGOs working in the field of education are established in the urban and metropolitan areas. Whereas the NGOs can not exercise legal powers directly, they help women in making them aware about the existing legal rights.
NGOs also play active role in sensitization of Women, Building confidence in women, Change in Social Attitude, Collective Awareness, etc. Conclusion: “Schools are like old-fashioned factories, and what they produce is gendered individuals,” says Michael S. Kimmel. But hopefully they are changing for the better. Education to women on par with men, may lead to other cultural and social problems. That is another issue. On this factor, women can not be denied their right to higher education. Education is the mainstay on the basis of which many a reformation and rehabilitation programs can be chalked out and implemented for the benefit of women.
NGOs all over the world are precisely attempting that. Legislation can extend the helping hand legally. What matters is the change in the male perception and attitudes as for the all round growth of the personality of the female gender.
References: Kimmel, Michael S. 2000. The Gendered Society. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Henry, Kathy: Gender Talk29 May 2007 … In the African-American studies book Gender Talk, Dr. Johnnetta … how gender inequality affects the entire African-American community. … ezinearticles. com/? Gender-Talk&id=584732 –Retrieved on July 25, 2008
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