Gender inequality in education in developing nations

February 17, 2015

In developing nations, girls often have to stay at home for domestic work, while boys are given the opportunity to become educated so they can provide for the family.

Dr. James Aggrey once said, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

Women are the primary connection to future generations because their roles in care giving and child-rearing. But in developing nations, one of the main obstacles women face on their journey to education is lack of support from the government and society.

Most of the girls in developing nations live with a large number of siblings or relatives in their house. Scarce resources often are rationed out and girls or women are considered the least priority.

In the early years of primary education, students cannot attend school if they cannot afford uniforms or supplies, often out of their family budget. There is also a lack of payment for teachers, resulting in an extremely high student to teacher ratio.

Transportation may sometimes pose as a great obstacle. In countries like the Dominican Republic, roads are not well made and traveling to schools can be very dangerous, especially for girls.

Women in most developing parts of the world struggle with the timely misconception that women were meant to take care of the house and tend for their children. Girls often have to stay at home for domestic work, while boys are given the opportunity to become educated so they can provide for the family.

There is much potential in teenage girls that remain an untapped source for these third world countries. Instead of spending a majority of their day in school and gaining knowledge for their dream future professions, most girls are forced to stay at home and take care of the house. Adolescent girls sometimes turn to prostitution as their only way of earning money for their families.

Educating these women can lessen poverty as well as the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV or AIDS.

Aiding and supporting women to follow the path of education and success can translate into a domino effect leading to a brighter future, not just for a few people but a whole nation. By encouraging education for women in these third world countries, a plethora of positive effects will be the result.

Research shows that when girls have access to quality education, the nation’s income rises, early marriage decreases, population growth stabilizes, and health outcomes improve.


st0216-01-1 Sabrina Wu
Whitney High School 11th Grade

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