Female education | Wikipedia audio article


Female education is a catch-all term of a
complex set of issues and debates surrounding education (primary education, secondary education,
tertiary education, and health education in particular) for girls and women. It includes
areas of gender equality and access to education, and its connection to the alleviation of poverty.
Also involved are the issues of single-sex education and religious education, in that
the division of education along gender lines as well as religious teachings on education
have been traditionally dominant and are still highly relevant in contemporary discussions
of educating females as a global consideration. In the field of female education in STEM,
it has been shown that girls’ and women under-representation in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is deep rooted.While the feminist movement
certainly promoted the importance of the issues attached to female education, the discussion
is wide-ranging and by no means narrowly defined. It may include, for example, AIDS education.
Universal education, meaning state-provided primary and secondary education independent
of gender is not yet a global norm, even if it is assumed in most developed countries.
In some Western countries, women have surpassed men at many levels of education. For example,
in the United States in 2005/2006, women earned 62% of associate degrees, 58% of bachelor’s
degrees, 60% of master’s degrees, and 50% of doctorates.Education for disabled women
has also improved. In 2011, Giusi Spagnolo became the first woman with Down Syndrome
to graduate college in Europe (she graduated from the University of Palermo in Italy).Improving
girls’ educational levels has been demonstrated to have clear impacts on the health and economic
future of young women, which in turn improves the prospects of their entire community . The
infant mortality rate of babies whose mothers have received primary education is half that
of children whose mothers are illiterate. In the poorest countries of the world, 50%
of girls do not attend secondary school. Yet, research shows that every extra year of school
for girls increases their lifetime income by 15%. Improving female education, and thus
the earning potential of women, improves the standard of living for their own children,
as women invest more of their income in their families than men do. Yet, many barriers to
education for girls remain. In some African countries, such as Burkina Faso, girls are
unlikely to attend school for such basic reasons as a lack of private latrine facilities for
girls.Higher attendance rates of high schools and university education among women, particularly
in developing countries, have helped them make inroads to professional careers with
better-paying salaries and wages. Education increases a woman’s (and her partner and the
family’s) level of health and health awareness. Furthering women’s levels of education and
advanced training also tends to lead to later ages of initiation of sexual activity and
first intercourse, later age at first marriage, and later age at first childbirth, as well
as an increased likelihood to remain single, have no children, or have no formal marriage
and alternatively, have increasing levels of long-term partnerships. It can lead to
higher rates of barrier and chemical contraceptive use (and a lower level of sexually transmitted
infections among women and their partners and children), and can increase the level
of resources available to women who divorce or are in a situation of domestic violence.
It has been shown, in addition, to increase women’s communication with their partners
and their employers, and to improve rates of civic participation such as voting or the
holding of office.==Issues=====Education and violence against women===
In Pakistan, a negative relationship was found between the formal level of education a woman
attains and the likelihood of violence against that woman (After, 2013). The researcher used
snowball convenient sampling, a sampling method where participants are referred. Ethical and
privacy issues made this the most convenient method. An informant played a major role in
gathering information that was then cross-checked. The sample of victims of violence was made
up of married women from ages 18–60 both from rural and urban communities. The study
described different forms of physical violence that are already present and provided an idea
of what women go through, even across communities (rural and urban). Education in this study
was stressed to be the solution and a necessity in eliminating violence. A discussion of political
and social barriers is needed.The relationship is a lot more complicated than it seems, women
can be illiterate but still become empowered (Marrs Fuchsel, 2014). Immigrant Latina Women
(ILW) were part of a qualitative study of 8 to 10 participant groups, at a time, and
completed an 11-week program centered on self-esteem, domestic violence awareness and healthy relationships.
Immigrant Latina Women (ILW) are a highly affected group by domestic violence. Though
this program took place outside of a traditional classroom, dialogue, critical thinking and
emotional well-being were stressed, areas that should be acquired while in school. Lastly,
though many of the women were illiterate they were still able to come away with a stronger
sense of control over their own lives, an important life skill.Female Education associates
with violence action towards women. The study of education and intimate partner violence
(IPV). From a social causation perspective, improving women’s education should protect
them from violence, yet from a social selection perspective, education could proxy for unobserved
factors that explain negative associations between education and IPV. Consistent with
the social causation perspective, increasing women’s schooling reduced both their recent
and longer term probabilities of psychological, physical, and sexual IPV, as well as their
recent and longer term probabilities of experiencing any IPV and polyvictimization. The results
of supplemental mediation analyses provide support for three interrelated causal pathways—improvements
in women’s personal resources, delayed family formation, and changes in partner selection.
These findings confirm the protective effects of women’s education and further illuminate
the mechanistic processes by which this occurs.How to reduce the risk of IPV for women by education?
First, increasing women’s education should expand their personal resource bases, including
their cognitive skills, employment opportunities, and occupational status (Psacharopoulos and
Patrinos, 2004; Smith‐Greenaway, 2013).Second, the timing of secondary schooling may compete
with early marriage and fertility (Duflo et al., 2007; Flórez and Núñez, 2003). If
delayed entrance into marriage allows women more time to accumulate their material resources,
then increasing education should implicitly provide them with more leverage to bargain
with their partners and, thus, make them better able to minimize the risk of abuse or violent
conflict (Kalmuss and Straus, 1982). Similarly, delaying fertility should reduce women’s vulnerability
to IPV by reducing the economic and physical dependence that stems from children (Kalmuss
and Straus, 1982). Moreover, delaying marriage and fertility may afford women more opportunities
to find personal fulfillment outside the domestic realm.Third, resource theory and family stress
theory argue that the wealth or poverty of a woman’s partner may affect her risk of IPV.
The former, resource theory, asserts that men sometimes use violence as a way to influence
relationship outcomes when they lack other means of negotiation (Felson and Messner,
2000; Fox et al., 2002; Goode, 1971). The latter, family stress theory, argues that
a couples’ joint resource base affects IPV by influencing the household’s level of financial
stress and conflict (Fox et al., 2002). Evidence that IPV occurs more frequently in poorer
households has indeed been found in several countries, including the United States, Thailand,
India, and Colombia (Allen and Straus, 1980; Friedemann‐Sánchez and Lovatón, 2012;
Hoffman, Demo, and Edwards, 1994; Weitzman, 2014). If a woman’s education affects the
characteristics of the potential partners she attracts, including their education, then
having more education may reduce her likelihood of household poverty and associated financial
conflict via her ability to attract partners with greater human capital.Fourth, schools
are often important sites of public health campaigns, information dissemination, and
socialization (Merakou et al., 2002). If women are exposed to anti‐violence messaging while
in school, then this may influence their attitudes toward intimate partner violence and in turn
their tolerance and/or use of violence in their own lives (Boyle et al., 2009; Gage
and Hutchinson, 2006).====Female education with Violence and Divorce
====The experiment of seeking the relationship
between female education with violence and divorce based on the data from 914 married
women from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Women from the National
Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The evidence suggests that the negative relationship
between women’s education and divorce is weaker when marriages involve abuse than when they
do not. Supplementary analyses suggested that marital satisfaction explains some of the
association among women’s resources, victimization, and divorce but that marital violence continues
to be a significant moderator of the education–divorce association. In sum, education appears to
benefit women by both maintaining stable marriages and dissolving violent ones.
Women’s educational attainment has risen dramatically in the past three decades, with the yearly
number of American women awarded a 4‐year college degree now exceeding men by over 10%
(National Center for Education Statistics, 2010). Accompanying this trend is an increasingly
negative correlation between women’s education and divorce (Amato, 2010; Cherlin, 2010).
A comparison of American women who married in 1975–1979 to those who married in 1990–1994
revealed a 10% drop in the divorce rate for women with a 4‐year college degree and an
8% increase in the divorce rate for women without a high school degree (Martin, 2006).
This divergence creates the current educational gradient in divorce, whereby college‐educated
women are less than half as likely to get a divorce as women with a high school degree
or less (Martin, 2006; McLanahan, 2004).===Female Education and Health===
Female education have a tie relationship with women health. A research in Peru shows that
increasing women’s education is found to decrease the probability of short birth intervals and
unwanted pregnancies (which may result in unsafe abortions) and to increase antenatal
healthcare use, potentially owing to changes in women’s cognitive skills, economic resources,
and autonomy. These findings underscore the influential role of education in reducing
maternal morbidity and highlight the contributions of women’s education to population health
and health transitions. A positive relationship between women’s education and maternal health
is well documented (Falkingham, 2003, Karlsen et al., 2011, Onah et al., 2006, Raghupathy,
1996).By improving women’s access to schooling decreases their desired and realized fertility
(Behrman, 2015a, Breierova and Duflo, 2004), delays their sexual debut (Baird et al., 2010),
and improves their ability to negotiate sex (Baird et al., 2010). They’ve also shown that
increasing women’s education protects against sexually transmitted infections (Behrman,
2015b, De Neve et al., 2015) and reduces the risk of child mortality (Grépin and Bharadwaj,
2015). These effects of women’s education on fertility, disease transmission, and child
wellbeing give rise to the possibility that women’s education affects maternal health
as well: as education expands and fertility falls, women’s exposure to maternal health
complications should diminish alongside their number of pregnancies and births (Winikoff
and Sullivan, 1987). Moreover, if education enhances health-seeking behaviors, then this
may lead to the prevention and early detection of complications during pregnancy and childbirth
and reduce the risk of death when complications arise (Carroli et al., 2001).===Education and women’s empowerment===
The Empress Alexandra Russian Muslim School for Girls (Russian: Александрийское
императорское женское русско-мусульманское училище;
Azeri: Aleksandra imperator rus-müsəlman qız məktəbi) of Baku (present-day Azerbaijan)
was the first secular school for Muslim girls in the world, it was established in Baku,
Azerbaijan by Z.Tagiyev, national industrial magnate and philanthropist. Despite what might
seem to have been a project worthy of much praise, Zeynalabdin Taghiyev had great difficulty
in gaining permission to open the school. He met with vigorous resistance; both from
the Imperial Russian authorities and the conservative Muslim clergy.
Education systems vary in administration, curriculum and personnel, but all have an
influence on the students that they serve. As women have gained rights, formal education
has become a symbol of progress and a step toward gender equity. In order for true gender
equity to exist, a holistic approach needs to be taken. The discussion of girl power
and women’s education as solutions for eliminating violence against women and economic dependence
on men can sometimes take dominance and result in the suppression of understanding how context,
history and other factors affect women (Khoja-Moolji, 2015). For example, when past secretary of
State, Hillary Clinton, referenced the tragedies of Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan and the girls
kidnapping in Chibok, Nigeria as comparable, using girls’ education as the focus, history
and context were ignored. What led to the shooting of Malala was reduced to being solely
about her educating herself as a girl. United States interference, poverty, and government
corruption and instability were not addressed.Education systems and schools play a central role in
determining girls’ interest in various subjects, including STEM subjects, which can contribute
to women’s empowerment by providing equal opportunities to access and benefit from quality
STEM education.===Women’s empowerment and international
development===Micro- and macro level factors that get attention
by international development agencies (IDA) vary. For example, reaching a quota of representatives
in political positions (macro level) but ignoring how home life pressures (micro level) do not
actually leave women at a position of free self-expression (Stromquist, 2015). IDA’s
tend to focus on numbers and on information provided by the national governments. This
ignores the possibility that national governments are not the most reliable or trust worthy.
Programs put on by FAWE (Forum for African American Educationalists) called Tuseme clubs
in Africa, which are Non Formal Education programs, are explored as they have proven
successful and effective but do not get enough support from the government to be replicated.
Tuseme means “let’s speak out” in Swahili and in action the programs tailor to each
participating school, focusing on communication and life skills, keeping the community in
mind. The program is set up as an extracurricular activity that focuses on issues through tools
like school newspapers, dance and theater. In this example, education and empowerment
are tackled on outside the classroom.==History=====China===
Along with the custom of footbinding among Chinese women that lasted through the end
of the 19th century, it was recognized that a woman’s virtue lay with her lack of knowledge.
As a result, female education was not considered to be worthy of attention. With the arrival
of numerous Christian missionaries from Britain and the US to China in the 19th century and
some of them being involved in the starting of schools for women, female education started
to receive some attention. Due to the social custom that men and women
should not be near one another, the women of China were reluctant to be treated by male
doctors of Western medicine.This resulted in a tremendous need for women in Western
medicine in China.Thus, female medical missionary, Dr.Mary H. Fulton (1854-1927), was sent by
the Foreign Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church (USA)to found the first medical college
for women in China. Known as the Hackett Medical College for Women (夏葛女子醫學院),
this College was located in Guangzhou, China, and was enabled by a large donation from Mr.
Edward A.K. Hackett (1851-1916) of Indiana, United States. The College was dedicated in
1902 and offered a four-year curriculum. By 1915, there were more than 60 students, mostly
in residence. Most students became Christians, due to the influence of Dr. Fulton. The College
was officially recognized, with its diplomas marked with the official stamp of the Guangdong
provincial government. The College was aimed at the spreading of Christianity and modern
medicine and the elevation of Chinese women’s social status. The David Gregg Hospital for
Women and Children (also known as Yuji Hospital 柔濟醫院 was affiliated with this College.
The graduates of this College included Lee Sun Chau (周理信, 1890-1979, alumna of
(Belilios Public School) and WONG Yuen-hing (黃婉卿), both of whom graduated in the
late 1910s and then practiced medicine in the hospitals in Guangdong province.====Education after the establishment of
the People’s Republic of China====Between the years 1931 and 1945, the percent
of uneducated women was over 90%, and most of the women who were educated had only completed
the elementary level. In the 1950s, after the establishment of People
Republic China, the government started a civilization project. It enabled large amounts of uneducated
women to learn basic writing and calculation. This project raised the proportion of educated
women. It was promoted not only in cities but also in rural area. Villages had their
own elementary schools. Instead of only taking care of children and chores at home, middle-aged
women had chances to learn writing and reading in local schools.
In the 1980s, Chinese central government passed a new education law, which required local
governments to promote 9-year obligation education nationwide The new education law guaranteed
education rights until middle school. Before the 1960s, female enrollment in elementary
school was 20%. 20 years after publishment of education law, in the year 1995, this percentage
had increased to 98.2%. By 2003, proportion of female who dropped from middle school decreased
to 2.49%.According to the fifth national census in 2000, the average education length of females
is up to 7.4 years. This digit increases from 7.0 years to 7.4 years in 3 years. However,
the female education duration is still 0.8 year less than male’s duration. This gap in
higher-level of education is larger in rural areas.In the countryside, parents tend to
use their limited resources for sons because they believe sons have abilities to bring
more back and their contributions to family in the future are more significant than daughters.
In an investigation, parents are 21.9% more likely to stop financing girls’ education
if they come into financial problems and family issues. Boys are provided with more opportunities
for further studying, especially after middle school. This difference became more evident
in the universities.When time comes into the 21st century, university education is becoming
more prevalent.The total enrollment goes up. Compare to the year of 1977, which is the
first year when college entrance examination was recovered, the admission rate increased
from 4.8% to 74.86%. Since the general admission has largely risen, more students got into
universities. Although women are assumed to own the same rights of general education,
they are forced to do better in the Chinese college entrance examination (Gaokao) than
males. Girls need to achieve higher grades than male students in order to get into the
same level university. It is an invisible ceiling for Chinese female, especially in
the top universities. It is not a public rule but a mainstream consensus among most of Chinese
university admission offices. According to a telephone interview with an officer, who
declined to give her name, at the Teaching Office at the China University of Political
Science and Law, “female students must account for less than 15 percent of students because
of the nature of their future career.”===
Islamic countries===Women in Islam played an important role in
the foundations of many educational institutions, such as Fatima al-Fihri’s founding of the
University of Al Karaouine, the oldest existing, continually operating and first degree awarding
educational institution in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records, in 859.
This continued through to the Ayyubid dynasty in the 12th and 13th centuries, when 160 mosques
(places of worship) and madrasas (places of education) were established in Damascus, 26
of which were funded by women through the Waqf (charitable trust or trust law) system.
Half of all the royal patrons for these institutions were also women.According to the Sunni scholar
Ibn Asakir, in the 12th century, there were opportunities for female education in the
mediaeval Islamic world. Asakir wrote that women should study, earn ijazahs (academic
degrees), and qualify as scholars and teachers. This was especially the case for learned and
scholarly families, who wanted to ensure the highest possible education for both their
sons and daughters. Ibn Asakir himself had studied under 80 different female teachers
in his time. According to a hadith collected in the Saḥih of al-Bukhārī, the women
of Medina who aided Muhammad were notable for not letting social mores restrain their
education in religious knowledge. “How splendid were the women of the anṣār;
shame did not prevent them from becoming learned [yatafaqqahna] in the faith.” While it was unusual for females to enroll
as students in formal classes, it was common for women to attend informal lectures and
study sessions at mosques, madrasas, and other public places. While there were no legal restrictions
on female education, some men, such as Muhammad ibn al-Hajj (d. 1336), did not approve of
this practice and were appalled at the behaviour of some women who informally audited lectures
in his time.While women accounted for no more than one percent of Islamic scholars prior
to the 12th century, there was a large increase of female scholars after this. In the 15th
century, al-Sakhawi devoted an entire volume of his 12-volume biographical dictionary al-Ḍawʾ
al-lāmiʻ to female scholars, giving information on 1,075 of them. More recently, the scholar
Mohammad Akram Nadwi, currently a researcher from the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies,
has written 40 volumes on the muḥaddithāt (the women scholars of ḥadīth), and found
at least 8,000 of them.Women’s unequal status in the Muslim world has been the subject of
widespread debate. Comparing to other country,women in the Middle East and other Muslim‐majority
countries tend to have fewer years of schooling, on average, lower rates of labor force participation,
less representation in politics, and wider gender gaps on these measures compared with
women in other countries (Cherif 2010; Fish 2002; Rahman 2012; M.L. Ross 2008). Low education
levels among women in Muslim‐majority countries are part of a broader clash of civilizations
between traditional or conservative Islam and the West over issues related to gender
and sexuality. Drawing on data from the World Values Survey, Inglehart and Norris (2003)
find that, compared with residents of Western countries, larger shares of Muslims support
traditional gender roles for men and women and say higher education is more important
for boys than for girls. Conservative gender norms and sexual mores
could shape Muslim women’s educational attainment through a number of pathways. If girls are
expected to become wives and mothers at young ages, families may see little need to invest
in their daughters’ education, especially if the financial and opportunity costs are
high and gender segregation of the labor market offers little hope for strong economic returns
(Lehrer 1999). Girls may also internalize gendered expectations and either perform poorly
in school or end their schooling earlier than boys (Buchmann, DiPrete, and McDaniel 2008).
High‐achieving girls might also face discrimination in the classroom or be prevented from advancing
through school. The influence of cultural values could also be indirect: for instance,
early marriage and childbearing could interrupt girls’ schooling, leading to lower attainment
(Johnson‐Hanks 2006; Takyi and Addai 2002). Higher fertility, too, may stretch families’
resources and lead to lower investment in daughters’ educational opportunities (Buchmann
and Hannum 2001). Finally, widely held conservative gender attitudes may influence how governments
allocate resources for women’s education (Østby, Urdal, and Rudolfsen 2016).
Muslim women’s educational disadvantage might also be rooted more in the past than in the
present.contemporary religious differences in women’s education levels may be left over
from an era when religious beliefs and attitudes were more tightly linked to educational outcomes.
Economic and structural barriers may still prevent some countries and groups from achieving
universal access to education or increasing enrollments in secondary or higher education
to Western levels (Østby, Urdal, and Rudolfsen 2016). But religious differences in women’s
education and gender equality should be diminishing over time as countries and regions that were
further behind, in part for religious reasons, catch up with the West, where education levels
have reached a plateau (Courbage and Todd 2007; Fukuyama 1992).Global discourses on
women’s education are also grounded in a mod- ern versus traditional binary, where
the West is seen as progressive, mod- ern, and secular and Muslim societies are positioned
as backward, traditional, and religious (Abu-Lughod 2009; Ahmed 1992; Asad 2003; Mahmood 2005;
Scott 2007). In these international projects, women’s education becomes an individualistic
and market-oriented goal, whereas Islam is treated as a challenge that restricts women’s
access to schools, job markets, and political participation (Abu-Lughod 2009; Cornwall 2007;
Kandiyoti 2005). Reconfigurations of gender, class, and Islam produced new regulations
as well as new possibilities for middle-class Muslim women.For women, being educated through
practicing politeness, orderliness, thrift, cleanliness, accounting, and hygiene was set
in opposi- tion to the coarse, vulgar, loud, quarrelsome, and sexually promiscuous “un-Islamic”
mannerisms associated with lower-class females.====Islamic Republic of Iran====
Since the 1979 revolution, Iran was under control of Islamic rules, the progress of
female education was affected by Islamic ecclesiocracy. Women are forced to wear veiling and are prevented
from going to the same school as male students. Female students have to learn different versions
of textbooks, which are special editions only for female students. Unmarried women are ineligible
for financial aid if they attempt to study abroad. Throughout the past 30 years, the
issue of female education has been constantly under debate.Iranian women do have desires
and abilities to pursue further education. An Iranian high school student can earn a
diploma after studying 3 years. If students aim to enter colleges, they will stay in the
high schools for the fourth year study, which has very intense study. According to researches,
42% of female students choose to have fourth year in the high school but only 28% of male
students choose to study in order to enter university. Moreover, women have a much higher
probability than men to pass college entrance exams. Islamic female are in need of achieving
higher education and truth proved that their abilities are enough for getting higher education.
The education opportunities for female need more national attention and less regulations.During
1978 and 1979, the proportion of women who participated in universities as students or
faculties was rather low. 31% of students admitted to universities were women. For faculty
gender composition, there are 14% female. This situation has changed with time passing
by. University enrollment was decreased under the influence of Iranian Cultural Revolution.
The general enrollment population declined during that time. After the cultural revolution,
the amount of enrollment was going up. The increase in the number of university students
is accompanied with an increase in female rate.Islamic higher education contains 5 levels.
The 5 levels are associate, bachelor’s, master’s, professional doctorate and specialized doctorate.
Before the revolution, the gender gap is obvious in master level and specialized doctorate,
which are only 20% and 27%. It has changed after 30 years. In 2007, the female percent
in master’s degree rose up to 43% and for specialized doctorate degree, this data rose
up to 33%.Female rate has not only increased in the students but also in faculty. 20 years
ago, only 6% of all professors and 8% of all associated professors were women. Now 8% of
all professors and 17% of all associated professors are female.=====Literacy programs=====
While formal education is prevalent amongst Iranian women, non-formal educational intuitions
are an option as well. Non-formal education in the Islamic Republic of Iran originated
from the Literary Movement Organization (LMO), which aspired to decrease illiteracy rates
in the country. Established in 1984, LMO’s tremendous efforts rectified the Pahlavi regime’s
neglect in regards to educating children and populations in rural areas. In the late 1980s,
LMO created adult literacy programs, vocational-technical schools, and religious institutions to combat
high illiteracy rates. Adult literacy programs teach introductory reading, writing, and math
in two cycles. While reading, writing, dictation, and arithmetic are introduced in the first
cycle, the second cycle delves into Islamic studies, experimental and social sciences,
and the Persian language. Although these educational organizations are gender inclusive, they mainly
cater to women; in fact, 71% of enrollees are women between the ages of 15-45. Throughout
the 1990s, two-thirds of enrollees in literacy programs were women, which directly led to
a dramatic rise (20%) in female literacy rates in Iran from 1987 to 1997.=====Religious schools=====
Religious schools are another educational route for Iranian women. Their popularity
is illustrated by the rise in the institution of “female seminaries” as of 2010. In 1984,
Ayatollah Khomeini, former supreme leader of Iran, called for the creation of Jami‘at
al-Zahra, an alliance of smaller religious schools. This led to the creation of the first
female seminary in Iran. These institutions offer the opportunity to earn anything from
high school diplomas to doctoral degrees. The acceptance rate for women into these religious
institutions was 28% in 2010 (7,000 accepted out of 25,000 applicants).=====Other educational routes=====
Newlyweds (women specifically) are educated on family planning, safe sex, and birth control
in population control programs. In addition, the government has established rural health
houses managed by local health workers. These health professionals travel to different areas
in order to impart information about women’s health and birth control.====Saudi Arabia=======Europe=======Ancient period====In ancient Rome, upperclass women seem to
have been well-educated, some highly so, and were sometimes praised by male historians
of the time for their learning and cultivation. Cornelia Metella, for instance, was distinguished
for her knowledge of geometry, literature, music, and philosophy. In the wall paintings
of Pompeii, women are more likely than men to be pictured with writing implements. Some
women had sufficient knowledge of Roman the law and oratorical training to conduct court
cases on their own behalf, or on behalf of others. Among occupations that required education,
women could be scribes and secretaries, calligraphers, and artists.Some and perhaps many Roman girls
went to a ludus. Boys and girls were educated either together or with similar methods and
curriculum. One passage in Livy’s history assumes that the daughter of a centurion would
be in school; the social rank of a centurion was typically equivalent to modern perceptions
of the “middle class”. Girls as well as boys participated in public religious festivals,
and sang advanced choral compositions that would require formal musical training.====Medieval period====Medieval education for females was typically
tied to a convent. Research has uncovered that several early women educators were in
charge of schools for girls: St. Ita of Ireland – died 570 AD. Founder
and teacher of a co-ed school for girls and boys at her monastery of Cell Ide. Several
important saints studied under her, including St. Brendan the Navigator.Caesaria the Younger
– died 550 AD. Successor to the sister of St. Caesarius and abbess of the convent he
founded for her nuns, Caesaria the Younger continued the teaching of over a hundred women
at the convent and aided in the copying and preservation of books.St. Hilda of Whitby
– died 680 AD. Founder of the co-ed monastery of Whitby (men and women lived in separate
houses), she established a center of education in her monastery similar to what was founded
by the Frankish nuns. According to the Venerable Bede, “Her prudence was so great, that not
only meaner men in their need, but sometimes even kings and princes, sought and received
her counsel.”St. Bertilla – died c. 700 AD. Queen Bathild requested her services for the
convent she had founded at Chelle. Her pupils founded convents in other parts of western
Europe, including Saxony.St. Leoba – died 782 AD. St. Boniface requested her presence
on his mission to the Germans and while there she founded an influential convent and school.
St. Bede the Venerable reports that noble-women were often sent to these schools for girls
even if they did not intend to pursue the religious life, and St. Aldhelm praised their
curriculum for including grammar, poetry, and Scriptural study. The biography of Sts.
Herlinda and Renilda also demonstrates that women in these convent schools could be trained
in art and music.During the reign of Emperor Charlemagne, he had his wife and daughters
educated in the liberal arts at the Palace Academy of Aachen, for which he is praised
in the Vita Karolini Magni. There is evidence that other nobles had their daughters educated
at the Palace Academy as well. In line with this, authors such as Vincent of Beauvais
indicate that the daughters of the nobility were widely given to education so that they
could live up to their social position to come.====Early modern period, humanist attitudes
====In early modern Europe, the question of female
education had become a commonplace one, in other words a literary topos for discussion.
Around 1405 Leonardo Bruni wrote De studies et letteris, addressed to Baptista di Montefeltro,
the daughter of Antonio II da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino; it commends the study of Latin,
but warns against arithmetic, geometry, astrology and rhetoric. In discussing the classical
scholar Isotta Nogarola, however, Lisa Jardine notes that (in the middle of the 15th century),
‘Cultivation’ is in order for a noblewoman; formal competence is positively unbecoming.
Christine de Pisan’s Livre des Trois Vertus is contemporary with Bruni’s book, and sets
down the things which a lady or baroness living on her estates ought to be able to do.In his
1516 book Utopia, Thomas More advocated for women to have the right to education.Erasmus
wrote at length about education in De pueris instituendis (1529, written two decades before);
not mostly concerned with female education, in this work he does mention with approbation
the trouble Thomas More took with teaching his whole family. Catherine of Aragon “had
been born and reared in one of the most brilliant and enlightened of European courts, where
the cultural equality of men and women was normal”. By her influence, she made education
for English women both popular and fashionable. In 1523, Juan Luis Vives, a follower of Erasmus,
wrote in Latin his De institutione feminae Christianae. This work was commissioned by
Catherine, who had charge of the education of her daughter for the future Queen Mary
I of England; in translation it appeared as Education of a Christian Woman. It is in line
with traditional didactic literature, taking a strongly religious direction. It also placed
a strong emphasis on Latin literature. Also Comenius was an advocate of formal education
for women. In fact his emphasis was on a type of universal education making no distinction
between humans; with an important component allowed to parental input, he advocated in
his Pampaedia schooling rather than other forms of tutoring, for all.The Reformation
prompted the establishment of compulsory education for boys and girls. Most important was Martin
Luther’s text ‘An die Ratsherren aller Städte deutschen Landes,’ (1524) with the call for
establishing schools for both girls and boys. Especially the Protestant South-West of the
Holy Roman Empire, with cities like Strassburg, became pioneers in educational questions.
Under the influence of Strasbourg in 1592 the German Duchy Pfalz-Zweibrücken became
the first territory of the world with compulsory education for girls and boys.Elizabeth I of
England had a strong humanist education, and was praised by her tutor Roger Ascham. She
fits the pattern of education for leadership, rather than for the generality of women. When
Johannes Sturm published Latin correspondence with Ascham centred on the achievements in
humanist study of Elizabeth and other high-ranking English persons, in Konrad Heresbach’s De
laudibus Graecarum literarum oratio (1551), the emphasis was on the nobility of those
tackling the classics, rather than gender.====Modern period====The issue of female education in the large,
as emancipatory and rational, is broached seriously in the Enlightenment. Mary Wollstonecraft,
who worked as a teacher, governess, and school-owner, wrote of it in those terms. Her first book
was Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, years before the publication of A Vindication
of the Rights of Woman. The Commission of National Education in the
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, founded in 1777, considered the first Ministry of Education
in history, was a central, autonomous body responsible for nationwide, secular and coeducational
training. In the late 19th century, in what was then the Russian province of Poland, in
response to the lack of higher training for women, the so-called Flying University was
organized, where women were taught covertly by Polish scholars and academics. Its most
famous student was Maria Skłodowska-Curie, better known as Marie Curie, who went on to
win two Nobel Prizes. Much education was channelled through religious
establishments. Not all of these educated women only for marriage and motherhood; for
example, Quaker views on women had allowed much equality from the foundation of the denomination
in the mid-17th century. The abolitionist William Allen and his wife Grizell Hoare set
up the Newington Academy for Girls in 1824, teaching an unusually wide range of subjects
from languages to sciences. The first state-financed higher education institution for women in
Europe, was established by Catherine II of Russia Actual progress in institutional terms, for
secular education of women, began in the West in the 19th century, with the founding of
colleges offering single-sex education to young women. These appeared in the middle
of the century. The Princess: A Medley, a narrative poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, is
a satire of women’s education, still a controversial subject in 1848, when Queen’s College first
opened in London. Emily Davies campaigned for women’s education in the 1860s, and founded
Girton College in 1869, as did Anne Clough found Newnham College in 1875. Progress was
gradual, and often depended on individual efforts – for example, those of Frances Lupton,
which led to the founding of the Leeds Girls’ High School in 1876. W. S. Gilbert parodied
Tennyson’s poem and treated the themes of women’s higher education and feminism in general
with The Princess in (1870) and Princess Ida in 1883.
Once women began to graduate from institutions of higher education, there steadily developed
also a stronger academic stream of schooling, and the teacher training of women in larger
numbers, principally to provide primary education. Women’s access to traditionally all-male institutions
took several generations to become complete.====Educational reform====The interrelated themes of barriers to education
and employment continued to form the backbone of feminist thought in the 19th century, as
described, for instance by Harriet Martineau in her 1859 article “Female Industry” in the
Edinburgh Journal. Despite the changes in the economy, the position of women in society
had not greatly improved and unlike Frances Power Cobbe, Martineau did not support the
emerging call for the vote for practical reasons. Slowly the efforts of women like Emily Davies
and the Langham group (under Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon) started to make inroads. Queen’s
College (1848) and Bedford College (1849) in London started to offer some education
to women, and by 1862 Davies was establishing a committee to persuade the universities to
allow women to sit for the recently established (1858) Cambridge Local Examinations, with
partial success (1865). A year later she published The Higher Education of Women. She and Bodichon
founded the first higher educational institution for women, with five students, which became
Girton College, Cambridge in 1873, followed by Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford in 1879. Bedford
had started awarding degrees the previous year. Despite these measurable advances, few
could take advantage of them and life for women students was very difficult.
As part of the continuing dialogue between British and American feminists, Elizabeth
Blackwell, the first woman in the US to graduate in medicine (1849), lectured in Britain with
Langham support. They also supported Elizabeth Garrett’s attempts to assail the walls of
British medical education against strong opposition; she eventually took her degree in France.
Garrett’s successful campaign to run for office on the London School Board in 1870 is another
example of how a small band of determined women were starting to reach positions of
influence at the level of local government and public bodies.===Africa===
Christian missionaries in the 19th century opened modern educational methods, but they
usually focused on boys. After early experiments they settled on promoting ideology of domestic
femininity imparted through girls’ schooling. In South Africa after 1820, male Scottish
missionaries decided that only the most basic education was necessary to prepare native
women for the propagation of Christianity within the home. They prevented female teachers
from operating in the Scottish mission’s territory. They delayed the establishment of a Girls’
Department at Lovedale Institution. Finally new leadership arrived who had a broader vision
of uplifting native women so they could promote Christianity and Western gender codes.Muslims
from India who came to East Africa in the late 19th century brought along a highly restrictive
policy against schooling for their girls.As of 2015, Priscilla Sitienei is attending elementary
school in Kenya at age 92; if confirmed by the Guinness World Records, she would be the
oldest student in elementary school.====West Africa=========Pre-colonial=====
Women’s education in West Africa manifested in both formal and informal structures, with
one of the more notable structures that had influence on women’s education being preparatory
schools labeled “Bush Schools.” These bush schools were institutions that would oftentimes
boast near 100% graduation rates and completed courses. They were organized by women and
had a planned, structured curriculum, which included learning how to do skills such as
learning how to “fish, cook, weave, spin cotton, dress hair, and make baskets, musical instruments,
pots, and fishing nets.” Much of the scholarship and research on these schools arises from
the Bundu schools of Sierra Leone. In addition to these skills, girls would often be given
reproductive education, such as birth control techniques or child rearing skills. In particular
to the Bundu schools, women would be given an intense education in medicinal herbs and
home medicinal skills. These schools didn’t just teach educational curriculum (such as
history passed on through songs and dances), but enabled the transmission of cultural values
and were centers of female power. Despite the colonial and post-colonial ideal that
women ought to be educated just to serve decorative or child-bearing maternal roles, these institutions
taught women to play central economic, corporate and familial roles in their communities.=====Colonial=====Early colonial forms of education on the West
African coasts, particularly among the Dahomey, Asante and Yorùbá people, were pioneered
by missionaries and institutions that were trying to educate religious thought in addition
to teaching more traditional western educational topics such as reading and writing. As early
as 1529, King John III of Portugal had given instruction to open schools and provide education
in “religious thought, reading and writing” and for the instructors to be paid by the
pupil. For women in particular however, these colonial forms of education brought with them
European ideals of women’s roles in the family, society and economy. These Western ideas of
womanhood oftentimes contrasted with women’s roles in the economy, society, or in the home.
For example, Igbo women had associations known as Mikiri, which were economic and social
forums for women in which they discussed direct action to enforce their interests, that were
largely misunderstood and disregarded by the British colonial government. Hence, as the
British colonial government introduced schools to the region, they ignored educating women
to fill economic roles in the community. In fact, the educational ideal of men as “breadwinners”,
i.e. the primary financial support of a nuclear family structure, was introduced by the British
colonial state in West Africa.One of the groups of people that the colonial governments in
West Africa put heavy import on educating were the mixed children of white people, typically
men, and indigenous people, typically women. In pre-British colonist state Ghana, when
much of the interaction between indigenous people and Europeans was through Dutch traders,
mixed race children of traders and indigenous people were removed from their indigenous
communities and placed in Dutch educational institutions in Ghana. In these early colonial
schools the education was also gendered by Western standards: the boys were educated
from a young age to be military officers in the Dutch army and the girls were educated
to be married to Dutch military officers in the region.One of the other ways through which
colonizing countries were able to exert influence and indirect rule over the indigenous people
was through maternal education. In colonial Ghana, Methodist missionaries led classes
teaching western methods of hygiene and child birth to the indigenous mothers or mothers-to-be.
The missionaries tried to construct an ideal of motherhood that matched white European
middle-class standards, irrespective of the social context of the ideals of motherhood
in place in the Asante societies they were located in.=====Contemporary=====
In post-colonial West Africa, many of the ideals of Western education have remained
while much of the infrastructure and funding left with the colonial presence. Particularly
in Nigeria, formal education was seen as a policy making tool, as women’s formal education
has been linked to having effects on “population growth, health, nutrition, fertility, infant
mortality, and changes in women’s productivity and earnings.” Researchers have cited some
disadvantages however to this reliance on women’s formal education. One, there is concern
for women being alienated from their indigenous cultures and not receiving the education in
values that were typically received through pre-colonial indigenous educational systems.
In addition, there is an increasing body of literature that suggests how the formal education
institutions channel women into particular lower-earning job fields such as the humanities,
while guiding women away from more technical jobs with higher wages.In regards to academic
achievement, according to the FAWE Conference girls across the Sub-Saharan region reported
lower scores in Math and Science subjects. The tendency for girls to be pushed into clerical
positions upon finishing school is also a widely researched and held belief. Despite
this, formal education offers many benefits recognized internationally. The Fourth United
Nations World Conference on Women has released publications citing numerous ways through
which women’s education in Africa is beneficial to society as a whole. These entail an increase
in family health, in higher wage jobs available to women, an improvement in quality standards
of childhood development, and a greater inclusion of women in decisions making that can impact
a nation in environmental, political, social and economic ways. Despite there being a drop
in participation of women in education in the majority of countries in West Africa in
the 1950s and 1960s, rates of women education have been steadily climbing since then. However,
there is still much statistical gender disparity as according to UNESCO statistics on women’s
enrollment and graduation rates.=====Gender disparities=====
One of the primary ways in which there are gender disparities in education in West Africa
are in the ratios of male to female participation: 43.6% of men have completed primary education
as opposed to 35.4% of women, 6.0% of men have completed secondary education as opposed
to 3.3% of women, and 0.7% of men have completed tertiary education as opposed to 0.2% of women.
Some of the reasons for poor enrollment and participation is the “male breadwinner” ideal
that prioritizes educating boys over girls and limited funds available to families for
education. In addition, in West Africa women are seen as the primary providers of unpaid
care work. This offers competing demands on the time of girls and oftentimes their families
will prioritize girls’ spending time taking care of siblings or doing domestic labor.
In addition, a leading cause of gender disparities in education are gender disparities in the
labor market, which lead to gendered ideas of women’s role in a society.In addition to
this, some gender disparities are caused by teacher’s attitudes towards students in the
classroom according to the students’ gender. There are some preconceived notions that boys
are more intelligent and harder working than girls in some West African countries. In particular
in Guinea, surveys have been taken by researchers suggesting that school teachers, particularly
in rural schools, believe that boys learn lessons better, have more ambition, are smarter,
and work harder, while girls make less effort, rarely give good responses to questions, and
use poor French expression. In addition in both urban and rural schools analyzed, girls
were expected to do the manual labor to keep the schools clean while this expectation was
not held for the boys.Gender disparities in higher education persist as well, with women
accounting for a little over 20% of university level enrollment in all of Sub-Saharan Africa,
and countries in West Africa such as Niger and Ghana reporting rates of 15% and 21%,
respectively. This is considered a contributing factor to why there are so few women in higher
level management and administrative jobs. In Ghana in 1990, women made up less than
1% of managers in the labor market, but with an average annual growth rate of 3.2%. Researchers
hope that improving primary education attainment and accomplishment will lead to more attainment
and accomplishment in the tertiary educational level and in the labor market.===India=======Ancient Vedic age (1000 BC)====
The history of female education in India has its roots in ancient Vedic age.
During the Vedic age, more than 3,000 years ago, women were assigned a high place in society.
They shared an equal standing with their men folk and enjoyed a kind of liberty that actually
had societal sanctions. The ancient Hindu philosophical concept of ‘shakti’, the feminine
principle of energy, was also a product of this age. This took the form of worship of
the female idols or goddesses. In India even today people worship Goddess “Saraswati” as
the Goddess of education. Vedic literature praises the birth of a scholarly daughter
in these words: “A girl also should be brought up and educated with great effort and care.”
(Mahanirvana Tantra); and “All forms of knowledge are aspects of Thee; and all women throughout
the world are Thy forms.” (Devi Mahatmya). Women, who so desired, could undergo the sacred
thread ceremony or ‘Upanayana’ (a sacrament to pursue Vedic studies), which is only meant
for males even to this day. The mention of female scholars and sages of the Vedic age
like Vac, Ambhrni, Romasa, Gargi, Khona in the Vedic lore corroborates this view. These
highly intelligent and greatly learned women, who chose the path of Vedic studies, were
called ‘brahmavadinis’, and women who opted out of education for married life were called
‘sadyovadhus’. Co-education seems to have existed in this period and both the sexes
got equal attention from the teacher. Moreover, ladies from the Kshatriya caste received martial
arts courses and arms training. The Vedas have volumes to say about these women, who
both complemented and supplemented their male partners.
Although in the Vedic period women had access to education in India, they had gradually
lost this right. However, in the British period there was revival of interest in women’s
education in India. During this period, various socio religious movements led by eminent persons
like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar emphasized on women’s education in India.
Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Periyar and Baba Saheb Ambedkar were leaders of the lower castes
in India who took various initiatives to make education available to the women of India.Women
of the Vedic period (circa 1500-1200 BCE), were epitomes of intellectual and spiritual
attainments. The Vedas have volumes to say about these women, who both complemented and
supplemented their male partners. When it comes to talking about significant female
figures of the Vedic period, four names – Ghosha, Lopamudra, Sulabha Maitreyi, and Gargi – come
to mind.=====Ghosha=====
Vedic wisdom is encapsulated in myriad hymns and 27 women-seers emerge from them. But most
of them are mere abstractions except for a few, such as Ghosha, who has a definite human
form. Granddaughter of Dirghatamas and daughter of Kakshivat, both composers of hymns (mainly
saying good about someone) in praise of Ashwins, Ghosha has two entire
hymns of the tenth book, each containing 14 verses, assigned to her name. The first eulogizes
the Ashwins, the heavenly twins who are also physicians; the second is a personal wish
expressing her intimate feelings and desires for married life. Ghosha suffered from an
incurable disfiguring disease, probably leprosy, and remained a spinster at her father’s house.
Her implorations with the Ashwins, and the devotion of her forefathers towards them made
them cure her disease and allow her to experience wedded bliss.=====Lopamudra=====
The Rig Veda (‘Royal Knowledge’) has long conversations between the sage Agasthya and
his wife Lopamudra that testifies to the great intelligence and goodness of the latter. As
the legend goes, Lopamudra was created by sage Agasthya and was given as a daughter
to the King of Vidarbha. The royal couple gave her the best possible education and brought
her up amidst luxury. When she attained a marriageable age, Agasthya, the sage who was
under vows of celibacy and poverty, wanted to own her. Lopa agreed to marry him, and
left her palace for Agasthya’s hermitage. After serving her husband faithfully for a
long period, Lopa grew tired of his austere practices. She wrote a hymn of two stanzas
making an impassioned plea for his attention and love. Soon afterwards, the sage realized
his duties towards his wife and performed both his domestic and ascetic life with equal
zeal, reaching a wholeness of spiritual and physical powers. A son was born to them. He
was named Dridhasyu, who later became a great poet.=====Maitreyi=====
The Rig Veda contains about one thousand hymns, of which about 10 are accredited to Maitreyi,
the woman seer and philosopher. She contributed towards the enhancement of her sage-husband
Yajnavalkya’s personality and the flowering of his spiritual thoughts. Yajnavalkya had
two wives Maitreyi and Katyayani. While Maitreyi was well versed in the Hindu scriptures and
was a ‘brahmavadini’, Katyayani was an ordinary woman. One day the sage decided to make a
settlement of his worldly possessions between his two wives and renounce the world by taking
up ascetic vows. He asked his wives their wishes. The learned Maitreyi asked her husband
if all the wealth in the world would make her immortal. The sage replied that wealth
could only make one rich, nothing else. She then asked for the wealth of immortality.
Yajnavalkya was happy to hear this, and imparted Maitreyi the doctrine of the soul and his
knowledge of attaining immortality.=====Gargi=====
Gargi, the Vedic prophetess and daughter of sage Vachaknu, composed several hymns that
questioned the origin of all existence. When King Janak of Videha organized a ‘brahmayajna’,
a philosophic congress centered around the fire sacrament, Gargi was one of the eminent
participants. She challenged the sage Yajnavalkya with a volley of perturbing questions on the
soul or ‘atman’ that confounded the learned man who had till then silenced many an eminent
scholar. Her question – “The layer that is above the sky and below the earth, which is
described as being situated between the earth and the sky and which is indicated as the
symbol of the past, present and future, where is that situated?” – bamboozled even the great
Vedic men of letters.====British India====The Church Missionary Society tasted greater
success in South India. The first boarding school for girls came up in Tirunelveli in
1821. By 1840 the Scottish Church Society constructed six schools with roll strength
of 200 Hindu girls. When it was mid-century, the missionaries in Madras had included under
its banner, 8,000 girls. Women’s employment and education was acknowledged
in 1854 by the East Indian Company’s Programme: Wood’s Dispatch. Slowly, after that, there
was progress in female education, but it initially tended to be focused on the primary school
level and was related to the richer sections of society. The overall literacy rate for
women increased from 0.2% in 1882 to 6% in 1947.In western India, Jyotiba Phule and his
wife Savitri Bai became pioneers of female education when they started a school for girls
in 1848 in Pune. In eastern India, apart from important contributions by eminent Indian
social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, John Elliot Drinkwater
Bethune was also a pioneer in promoting women’s education in 19th-century India. With participation
of like-minded social reformers like Ramgopal Ghosh, Raja Dakshinaranjan Mukherjee and Pandit
Madan Mohan Tarkalankar, he established Calcutta’s (now Kolkata) first school for girls in 1849
called the secular Native Female School, which later came to be known as Bethune School.
In 1879, Bethune College, affiliated to the University of Calcutta, was established which
is the oldest women’s college in Asia. In 1878, the University of Calcutta became
one of the first universities to admit female graduates to its degree programmes, before
any of the British universities had later done the same. This point was raised during
the Ilbert Bill controversy in 1883, when it was being considered whether Indian judges
should be given the right to judge British offenders. The role of women featured prominently
in the controversy, where English women who opposed the bill argued that Bengali women,
whom they stereotyped as “ignorant” and neglected by their men and that Indian men should therefore
not be given the right to judge cases involving English women. Bengali women who supported
the bill responded by claiming that they were more educated than the English women opposed
to the bill and pointed out that more Indian women had degrees than British women did at
the time.====Independent India====After India attained independence in 1947,
the University Education Commission was created to recommend suggestions to improve the quality
of education. However, their report spoke against female education, referring to it
as: “Women’s present education is entirely irrelevant to the life they have to lead.
It is not only a waste but often a definite disability.”However, the fact that the female
literacy rate was at 8.9% post-Independence could not be ignored. Thus, in 1958, a national
committee on women’s education was appointed by the government, and most of its recommendations
were accepted. The crux of its recommendations were to bring female education on the same
footing as offered for boys.Soon afterwards, committees were created that talked about
equality between men and women in the field of education. For example, one committee on
differentiation of curriculum for boys and girls (1959) recommended equality and a common
curricula at various stages of their learning. Further efforts were made to expand the education
system, and the Education Commission was set up in 1964, which largely talked about female
education, which recommended a national policy to be developed by the government. This occurred
in 1968, providing increased emphasis on female education.====Current policies====Before and after Independence, India has been
taking active steps towards women’s status and education. The 86th Constitutional Amendment
Act, 2001, has been a path breaking step towards the growth of education, especially for females.
According to this act, elementary education is a fundamental right for children between
the ages of 6 and 14. The government has undertaken to provide this education free of cost and
make it compulsory for those in that age group. This undertaking is more widely known as Sarva
Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). Since then, the SSA has come up with many
schemes for inclusive as well as exclusive growth of Indian education as a whole, including
schemes to help foster the growth of female education.
The major schemes are the following: Mahila Samakhya Program: This program was
launched in 1988 as a result of the New Education Policy (1968). It was created for the empowerment
of women from rural areas especially socially and economically marginalized groups. When
the SSA was formed, it initially set up a committee to look into this programme, how
it was working and recommend new changes that could be made.
Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme(KGBV): This scheme was launched in July, 2004, to
provide education to girls at primary level. It is primarily for the underprivileged and
rural areas where literacy level for females is very low. The schools that were set up
have 100% reservation: 75% for backward class and 25% for BPL (below Poverty line) females.
National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL): This programme
was launched in July, 2003. It was an incentive to reach out to the girls who the SSA was
not able to reach through other schemes. The SSA called out to the “hardest to reach girls”.
This scheme has covered 24 states in India. Under the NPEGEL, “model schools” have been
set up to provide better opportunities to girls.One notable success came in 2013, when
the first two girls ever scored in the top 10 ranks of the entrance exam to the Indian
Institutes of Technology (IITs). Sibbala Leena Madhuri ranked eighth, and Aditi Laddha ranked
sixth.In addition, the status and literacy rates between West Bengal and Mizoram were
found to be profound; a study compared the two states as they took on politically different
approaches to helping empower women (Ghosh, Chakravarti, & Mansi, 2015). In West Bengal,
literacy rates were found to be low even after fulfilling the 73rd amendment from 1992. The
amendment established affirmative action by allotting 33% of seats at panchayats, or local
self-governments, to women. Mizoram chose not to partake in the 73rd Amendment but has
seen greater literacy rates, it is second highest in the country, and also has a better
sex ratio. It was thus found that affirmative actions steps alone were not enough. Women
also need to be given the opportunity to develop through formal education to be empowered to
serve and profit from holding these public leadership roles.=====Female College Education in India=====
Despite the fact that many girls stop their education after school, the number of girls
seeking admission to universities is growing so rapidly that the problem of admission to
colleges is becoming more and more difficult. The num ber of students, both men and women,
who enrolled in colleges at the end of the First Plan was 7,20,000 as against 4,20,000
five years earlier, during which period the number passing out as holders of degrees and
higher examinations rose from 41,000 to 58,000.After a good multipurpose school education a girl
comes to a University, well-equipped, keen and happy, ready to take up a further three
years course in a college. Women’s colleges, though increasing in number, however, could
still further be increased, as is the intention of both Central and State Governments. Here(resident
school) is nothing so good for a girl its a healthy, congenial hostel life. Here she
learns to be cosmo politan, to help her weaker sister, to break caste rules, re actionary
customs and creed prejudices and to live a life of service to her Alma Mater. This training
which a girl auto matically receives when staying in a residential college fits her
for a better and more useful life in the years that follow and serves the main purpose of
education, which is better living.The syllabus therefore in colleges should be the same for
girls as for boys am all cqllegies should not include the Home Sciences as compulsory
course.====Raising awareness====
The Canadian start-up Decode Global has developed the mobile game Get Water!, a game for social
change focusing on the water scarcity in India and the effect it has on girls’ education,
especially in slums and rural areas. In areas with no ready access to water, girls are often
pulled out of school to collect water for their families.==Catholic tradition==
In the Roman Catholic tradition, concern for female education has expressed itself from
the days of the Catechetical School of Alexandria, which in the 200s AD had courses for both
men and women. Later Church writers such as St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and St. Jerome
all left letters of instruction for women in convents that they either founded or supported.
In the medieval ages, several religious institutes were established with ministries addressing
women’s education. For medieval examples of convent schools, which are one form of such
institutions, see the examples at the section on the medieval period. In the early modern
period, this tradition was continued with the Ursulines (1535) and the Religious of
the Sacred Heart of Mary (1849). Contemporary convent schools are usually not restricted
to Catholic pupils. Students in contemporary convent education may be boys (particularly
in India).==See also=====Historical literature===
Bathsua Makin (1673), An Essay to Revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen, in Religion,
Manners, Arts & Tongues Davies, John Llewelyn (1879). Thirty years’
progress in female education. London. Anna Julia Cooper (1892), The Higher Education
of Women Alice Zimmern (1898), Renaissance of Girls’
Education in England==Sources==
This article incorporates text from a free content work. License statement: Cracking
the code: girls’ and women’s education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
(STEM), UNESCO. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see Wikipedia:Adding
open license text to Wikipedia. For information on reusing text from Wikipedia, please see
the terms of use.==Notes====Further reading==
Acker, Sandra et al. eds. World Yearbook of Education 1984: Women and Education (1984)
Conway, Jill Kerr and Susan C. Bourque, eds. The Politics of Women’s Education: Perspectives
from Asia, Africa, and Latin America (1993) Dilli, S. D. “A Historical Perspective on
Gender Inequality and Development in the World Economy, c. 1850-2000.” (PhD Dissertation,
Utrecht U., 2015). online Eisenmann, Linda. Historical Dictionary of
Women’s Education in the United States (1998) online
Harrigan, Patrick. “Women teachers and the schooling of girls in France: Recent historiographical
trends.” French Historical Studies (1998) 21#4: 593-610. online
Kelly, Gail P., ed. International Handbook of Women’s Education (Greenwood Press, 1989).
LeVine, Robert A. “Women’s Schooling in Asia and Africa.” African and Asian Studies
16.1-2 (2017): 128-138. Mak, Grace C.L. Women, Education and Development
in Asia: Cross-National Perspectives (2017). Miller, Pavla. “Gender and education before
and after mass schooling.” in Teresa A. Meade and Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, eds. A companion
to gender history (2004): 129-145. Purvis, June. A history of women’s education
in England (Open University, 1991). Riordan, Cornelius. “The value of attending
a women’s college: Education, occupation, and income benefits.” Journal of Higher Education
65.4 (1994): 486-510. in United States Rogers, Rebecca. “Learning to be good girls
and women: education, training and schools.” in Deborah Simonton, ed., The Routledge History
of Women in Europe since 1700 (2006). 111-151. Rury, John L. Education and Women’s Work:
Female Schooling and the Division of Labor in Urban America, 1870-1930 (1991).
Seeberg, Vilma. “Girls’ schooling empowerment in rural China: Identifying capabilities and
social change in the village.” Comparative Education Review 58.4 (2014): 678-707.
Seeberg, Vilma, et al. “Frictions that activate change: dynamics of global to local non-governmental
organizations for female education and empowerment in China, India, and Pakistan.” Asia Pacific
Journal of Education 37.2 (2017): 232-247. Sheldon, Kathleen. Historical dictionary of
women in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)
Sperling, Gene B., and Rebecca Winthrop, eds. What works in girls’ education: Evidence for
the world’s best investment (Brookings Institution Press, 2015).
Tolley, Kim. The science education of American girls: A historical perspective (Routledge,
2014). Tyack, David, and Elizabeth Hansot. Learning
together: A history of coeducation in American public schools (1992).
Woody, Thomas. A History of Women’s Education in the United States (2 vols. 1929)==External links==
Literary Encyclopedia, Education of Women 1650-1750
Education of Girls: Swift, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and others
Home Economics Archive: Tradition, Research, History (HEARTH) An e-book collection of over
1,000 books on home economics spanning 1850 to 1950, created by Cornell University’s Mann
Library. American Association of University Women
Essay by Gene Sperling on girls’ education

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