Countries Should Focus on Female Education Despite Cultural Barriers That Limit

Countries Should Focus on Female Education Despite Cultural Barriers That Limit Their Access to Education

Shaji Mitchell

Countries Should Focus on Female Education Despite Cultural Barriers That Limit their Access to Education

According to a BBC report, 130 million females lack access to education due to the cultural and religious norms placed in their communities (Coughlan, 2020). The number is still rising as each new born female is subjected to the same condition in different parts of the world. Even though some countries in Africa such as Kenya and Nigeria are? trying to promote female education, some communities are still bound by the traditional cultures and norms, which restrict the access to education by girls or limit them to a certain level, compared to boys. Countries such as; Afghanistan and Yemen believe in cultural norms including child marriage, not sending girls to co-ed schools, restricting girls from being taught by male instructors, preventing education of sexually abused girls, and strictly abiding by gender stereotypes. The countries are based on the Muslim religion, which supports Pardah, a social practice of female seclusion and segregation of the sexes. In the African communities, the segregation of women, male? men superiority complex and girl child circumcision and early marriages, prevent them from accessing education. In sub-Saharan Africa, countries such as Chad, Guinea and Mali have gender disparities which influence the ratio of male and female education. The rigid cultural norms have led to disfavouring of girls and having a male superiority complex run-on hence few girls from the community have gotten the chance to be learned. However, with the development of initiatives and institutions that support girl education, countries can focus on girl education despite the existing cultural barriers (Ali & Khawaja, 2017). Governments can change individuals’ perceptions by developing equality policies that reinforce girls’ education and support associations with the same objective through financial and change-making support.

Most of the countries experiencing challenges in girl education due to traditional and religious cultures are based on the Islamic religion or follow the traditional African cultures. The traditional Islamic setups base their teachings on the Quran, which does not restrict girl education but is misinterpreted by some communities. According to prophet Mohammad, “seeking knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim” -Al-Bukhari-9 (Ali, 2011). Also, the Quran states that, “Acquisition of knowledge is binding on all Muslims, male and female…Seek knowledge, from the cradle to the grave” (Ali, 2011). That sounds pretty clear to me. Therefore, the religion supports female education. However, some communities have other beliefs that influence their perceptions on girl education. For example, pardah was aimed at ensuring the veiling of women and preventing them from being seen by the public. However, it was interpreted as full segregation of women in public places hence only allowed women to perform house chores and take care of their children. Schooling involved meeting many different people hence don’t overuse words like this; find synonyms or reframe the sentence (It’s unintentional repetition) the communities interpreted it as a form of Purdah. The practice of Purdah reduces women’s mobility and participation in life activities, including working (Sultana et al., 2009). Therefore, education, employment, and access to information were restricted, which increased dependence and lack of empowerment, thus preventing self-reliance.

However, women in the communities are now informed and ready to go against the cultural barriers and get education. According to a research, Muslims of older generation had 64% of them not having formal education a bit awkward (only 64 percent of older Muslims have a formal education.). The percentage has decreased to 33% for the younger population, due to the fight against women segregation Globally don’t capitalize (Murphy, 2016). Also, in Afghanistan, the ruling by the Taliban has supported female education by the separation of female and male schools hence providing the opportunity for the to study comfortably. This is unlike the previous rule where women were not allowed to be in public places such as schools. Yes, but unfortunately, also unlike the past twenty years when they weren’t under Taliban rule and were allowed education without restrictions..In the African communities’ no apostrophe here as communities is the subject cultural traditions and practices are highly valued hence followed to the letter. People believe that women should be seen, not heard hence given a place in the kitchen. The male child is highly valued, and families strive to get male children in order to be considered superior and gain social status. On the other hand, girl children are discriminated against, making it difficult to exercise their rights to education, and freedom of speech. They suffer degradation, poverty and lack the freedom to voice their opinions since they are considered submissive to their male counterparts. The communities value early marriages, allowing their daughters to get married at an early age this is a bit repetitive; instead, you could cite the youngest age or maybe the average age or even the number of girls married by a certain age—something more specific. In research to identify the cultural practices and norms preventing girl education, Kainuwa & Yusuf (2013) identify that some parents find it unworthwhile for their daughters to get an education since they are bound to move to their husbands’ families when they marry. Therefore, they find the gains of the productivity or income will benefit the families of the son-in-law instead of them.

According to UNICEF, more than 10 million girls marry before the age of 18 annually, okay, good; I asked for this above, but it works here. which is when females should be studying (UNICEF, 2012). However, the community values marriages more than girls’ education, thus failing to provide opportunities to willing individuals. For example, South Asia has contended with girl child marriage even though the law is against it. Parents fail to consider education for their girls and marry them off (Gupta, 2019). The practice is also practices is practiced (or even better find a synonym—observed maybe?) in African countries such as Kenya, where young girls are married off especially those who have been genitally mutilated thus considered adults. Education is regarded as one of the most important factors that can help reduce girl child marriages in the regions (Raj et al., 2014). However, the religious and traditional cultures fail to acknowledge it. According to Ahamad & Narayana (2015), Indian culture and traditions are hostile to women as it reduces them to kitchen manageresses and producing babies. Investing in their education and schooling fails to bear full benefits since schooling is social in nature rather than economic. Women’s roles are placed in the household; therefore, parents feel that even if the females are educated, they will not use the knowledge acquired for economic purposes such as in businesses or offices but instead stay at home performing house chores, which does not require high levels of education.

Due to the cultural norms and traditions, various programs and institutions have developed to promote girl education in different communities. In an attempt to achieve the millennial development goals, gender equality is one of the factors considered hence promoting girl and boy education. The universal declaration of human rights also advocates for equality of other genders thus promoting girl education. According to Porter (2016), education should involve teaching and be linked to the dominant cultural values to ensure the communities understand the impact. Education helps solve local problems; hence, the community should consider girl education to solve problems affecting them. For example, a learned woman thins??? about educating her children and ensuring that the community is developed. They tend to practice what they learnt to improve the community. The benefits seen in the communities can help to show the importance of girl education hance changing the perception of the society towards female education. Organizations such as Empower Women, have arisen to support knowledge, expertise, common sense, and values. Also, UNICEF is working to reach the rural communities to encourage the education of girls and the taking of courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The organization creates awareness to the communities, on It also considers the needs for the society and explains how a leaned society would help solve such issues in future. What are some specifics they use to convince these societies? The degrading of women has made it difficult for them to believe in their abilities hence fail to take complex subjects. UNICEF mission statement include, “to promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political, social and economic development of their communities”. Therefore, the organizations have been established to change the communities’ perception and achieve educational goals for both sexes.

Investing in girl education is essential to the community in both economic and social setups. According to Ember, (2020), “Educating girls is pivotal to the development of society since women with control over resources spend more on basic living needs which protect their families”. Investing in women’s education has benefits such as reducing female fertility rates, lowering maternal mortality rates, lower infant and child mortality rates, and fostering educational investment in children. Good. Women tend to think more about their families hence use the resources they have to better their lives and those of their children. Since women are stay at home individuals, they easily identify the challenges in their society and determine methods to solve them. Ember states that girls’ education is a powerful tool that can be used to change the perception and beliefs in communities, which is supported by their ability to communicate well. It has led to reduced rates of infant mortality as they know how to handle their pregnancies, reduces child marriage and positive impact on agricultural productivity such as in Egypt (Ackerman, 2015). This is good; more specifics would be even better. For instance, does anyone quantify their impact on agricultural productivity? To add on, girl education has economic benefits through an increase in workforce hence increasing productivity thus increasing income in families (Ortiz-Ospina, 2018).

Utilization of resources by achieving quality education for girls saves funds and leads to infrastructure and facilities development. Learned and well-informed girls can make better life decisions hence would not follow the early marriage cultures that prevent their progress (Jain & Singh, (2017). In situations of cost barriers, the communities encourage education through an empowerment approach by focusing on dialogues on issues such as marriages, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and health. Girl education also improves their dignity and makes them aware of their rights. According to the United Nations, “education is not only a right but a passport to human development” (Winthrop & McGivney, 2015). This is because it improves their health, social and economic outcomes for themselves and their children. The health facilities in African countries such as Chad and Mali, have improved and had female doctors this is a bit unclear due to the exposure of women to education. The benefit to the community is more hence leading to the development of both the individual and the society.

The organizations that have developed to promote girl education have created policies and empowered women to be better irrespective of societies’ cultural practices and norms. With the rise in globalization and technological advancements, the communities are embracing the new strategies that encourage districts to invest in girls’ education. This is through online awareness creation, increased connectivity and online creation of groups with a common goal. It is easier for the females to communicate to institutions on the challenges they face hence action can be taken in an early stage. UNICEF is international and above the specific traditional and religious cultures (UNICEF, 2020). Therefore, its involvement in the awareness of girl education is taken positively by most countries. According to Winthrop & McGivney (2015), education has been a priority in the international development communities and recording positive progress. More girls are being enrolled in primary schools, and parents are starting to appreciate their female children through the provision of education. For example, in Chad and Pakistan, the GPI value is 0.78 and 0.84 which shows that for every 100 boys enrolled, there are 78 and 84 girls expected to join the schools (UNICEF, 2020). The number of girls enrolment in low-income countries increased by two and a half times in 2012 compared to previous years. Good

Implementing policies that promote equality between female and male individuals would help support girl education in rural regions that follow the cultures and traditions that demean women. The various organizations’ regulations and strategies such as Empower Women and UNICEF in rural and urban regions would help to encourage parents and leaders to embrace the new systems that support girl education. The success of organizations such as UNICEF and local firms proves that countries have the ability to support girls’ education irrespective of the existing traditions and cultures. According to UNICEF, 2020, leveraging social protection to strategies that reduce financial barriers to girl education ensure societal support of the education and ensure that their girls are in school. Communities also need to educate the traditional believers embracing the cultures that suppress women to adopt the new changes and educate their female children.

The focus on girl education should be promoted despite the cultural barriers existing n the communities. The Islamic and African cultures preventing girl education should be abolished I still don’t know how this could be effected. by developing organizations that blend with the communities to encourage and empower the community by providing resources to support girl education. The existing policies have proven to influence the community; hence the implementation of such positively would promote girl education. The guidelines should focus more on the Islamic and African communities by providing personalized empowerment by reaching the most rural regions of the countries. Girl education is vital to the communities as it encourages development and increases production and income. The government should focus on girls’ education despite the cultural barriers to improve society.

You made some really good additions, Shaji.


Ackerman, X. (2015). Innovation and action in funding girls’ education. Brookings Global Working Paper Series. How did you access this?

Ahamad, T., & Narayana, A. (2015). Girl education: A lifeline to rural transformation in India. International Journal of Applied Research, 1(6), 84-87.

Ali, M. M. (2011). Holy Quran. Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore USA.

Ali, S., & Khawaja, M. Z. (2017). Barriers to Girl Education in Walled City, Lahore. INCLUSIVENESS BECAUSE WE CAN, 118.

Coughlan, S. (2020). Reaching 130 million girls with no access to school. BBC News. Retrieved 28 October 2021, from

Ember, H. (2020). Benefits of Investing in Girl Education.Is this the whole citation? You have it punctuated like an article, but you don’t have a journal accompanhyng…

Gupta, A. K. (2019). Significance of girl education: Parents’ perception from rural madhesh of Nepal. Journal of Management and Development Studies, 29, 61-68.

Jain, S., & Singh, S. (2017). Prerna: engendering empowerment through girl education. International Journal of Educational Management.

Kainuwa, A., & Yusuf, N. B. M. (2013). Cultural traditions and practices of the parents as barriers to girl-child education in Zamfara State Nigeria. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 3(11), 1-8.

Ortiz-Ospina, E., Tzvetkova, S., & Roser, M. (2018). Women’s employment. Our World in Data.

Porter, S. (2016). Girls’ education, development, and social change. Policy Futures In Education, 14(5), 517-538., A., McDougal, L., Silverman, J. G., & Rusch, M. L. (2014). Cross-sectional time series analysis of associations between education and girl child marriage in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, 1991-2011. PloS one, 9(9), e106210.

Sultana, A. M., Jawan, J. A., & Hashim, I. (2009). Influence of Purdah (Veil) on education and employment of women in rural communities. European Journal of Social Sciences, 11(2), 267-280.

UNICEF. (2020). Towards an equal future: Reimagining girls’ education through STEM.

Winthrop, R., & McGivney, E. (2015). Raising the global ambition for girls’ education (pp. 287-296). Routledge.

    GRADE 5 is highest

Content/effectiveness does the paper have something of substance to say?    

  is it interesting? Logical? Or does it use circular reasoning?   4.75

  does it provide the reader with fresh insight?    

  does it have a sustained focus?    

  does it reach the 2000 word minmum?    

  lack of title? Appropriate title?    

concrete details insufficient number of details for evidence;concreteness  4.75

  use irrelevant details or make irrelevant statements    


Prose style wordy; word order; archiaic language; abstractions    

  good flow of prose; need for sentence breaks    

  appropriate word choice/ placement /Nonstd. English   4.75

  awkwardness; failure to keep items parallel;misquoting   

  unintentional repetition / redundancy    

  clarity/ vagueness / ambiguity    

Grammar and mechanics    

The first six flaws count comma splices (numerous)    

a half point each (unless sentence fragments (numerous)    

you have NUMEROUS misplaced/dangling modifiers   4.25

instances in your paper. run-ons (numerous) -0.5  

Then I begin to multiply. faulty pronoun/antecedent agreement (multiple instances)    

(csplices–faulty s/v agr) faulty subject/verb agreement (multiple instances)    

The rest of these count inconsistent/incorrect verb tenses (throughout)    

a quarter point each unless pronouns–inconsistent; icorrect; pronoun case    

they are numerous (see adjectives and adverbs (problems); articles    

above.) comma problems; FAILURE TO CITE SOURCES or use “”s    

  apostrophes for possessives/contractions; abbreviations -0.25  

For those of you who homonym confusion; articles (missing? Wrong one?)    

habitually make the same mispelled words/missing words /extra words (both/all)    

mistakes you did on the appropriate indents; plural/singular; possessive problems    

rough draft (and I pointed appropriate punctuation of quotes, titles, etc.    

them out), the penalty is passive/active voice verbs/ improper conjugation    

double. capitalization problems; punctuation problems (both)    

  floating quotes; typo; block quotes; misquoting    

  problems with in-text citation; Works Cited Problems    

Organization paragraph breaks    

  flow of ideas    

  logical and emphatic order    

  transitions   5

  25 possible points   23.5





  percentage   94