Education and gender justice: Consequences of structural discrimination on women and girls : Day #4

Over the years, education has proven to be a complex tool used for social, economic, psychological and political justice among other forms of course. Its evasive influence on these discourses has made it a key fundamental right that should not be looked at as a privilege. It is sad to note that, at the early stages of its evolution, it was engendered and it carried these overtones to several institutions that made women become second-class citizens across the board. In essence, it became a men and boys privilege, thus undermining the principal discourse of absolute inclusivity; that is structural discrimination right there.

It is on this background that you find that most 3rd world countries today still have about two-thirds of their women illiterate. According to a UNESCO report, in 2006, Indonesia had about 10 million out of 15 million uneducated women. This sort of thing is common knowledge to most under-developed countries and hence it is crucial to talk about education and gender justice because these are key to any profound progressive developmental agenda.

In our structures, we annihilated women and girls, engendering certain agendas and only taking them to be less humane than they really were. Today we have some of the best institutions being run by women and some of the best countries under female administration. For instance, African Union under Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is doing pretty well. When Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf started, she has been consistently doing well even though she has been allegedly enmeshed in corruption scandals. Well, my argument is that we have held ourselves hostage by holding women back at a time their efforts would have alleviated us from the abyss we helplessly wallow in today as the world…

Serious records of effects of lack of education and gender justice have shown that it is important for us to learn from what has happened elsewhere by merely practicing discrimination against women. If education and gender justice is not addressed, this may mean that the feminization of poverty will continue. In any poverty stricken country, women are the ones that suffer most because access to resources also becomes engendered. Sometimes these resources are key in women’s lives, at times, they cannot even speak out on their rights. It is common knowledge that women are a delicate genera, which should have access to all institutions, be they health, leadership, or education. Excluding women and girls in our structures and policies is actually excluding progressive development. Women are the heart of any progressive development agenda; our inclusivity and cooperation is key to a functional and just society.

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