Friday, 3 December, 2021

Importance Of Women Education In Nepal


 Yashodhara Bhetuwal Prasai


Education plays a vital role in the development of human society. Moreover, it perhaps plays the most important role in a woman’ life. Basically, in the case of male dominated society, a woman can live a dignified life if she is well educated. Education is indispensable for women as it supports them to choose the way of life she wants to lead.
The importance of education in women can be compared with life blood in human body. It is also known as the light of life as it develops the quality to adopt the change that is happening in people’s life. Education is the foundation of development and plays a vital role in the advancement of human society. It initiates positive and constructive changes in human life. Education makes people aware of important issues, as well as organized, skilled and responsible. Educated people can analyse good and bad behaviour of human beings and can initiate for change in case of necessities. As we know, a woman occupies the central part in the society because she organizes the household activities, deals with family members and supports children to grow in the right way. For this purpose, a woman should be more knowledgeable, conscious, cooperative and much more. All the above qualities should be inculcated through education. Therefore, education is essential for women for the smooth functioning and organizing of homes. As more and more women are empowered the household functions will be efficient and overall society will function well.
In the present day competitive society, a country always needs productive manpower for its development. If people are well educated and united, they will be co-operative and develop a positive attitude for the development of the country. This condition can be developed through women education.
In the case of Nepal, the following data presents the status of woman education.
The Nepal Living Standard Survey 2010-2011 (NLSS- III) has revealed that Nepal has an adult literacy rate of 65.9% with a huge variation between men and women. While male literacy rate is 75.1%, it is only 57.4% for women. This shows that there is still a belief among Nepali people that girls are limited to going to schools.
Women receive only about 16% of undergraduate and 11% of doctorate degrees in engineering; less than 22% of doctorate degrees in maths and physical sciences; 28% of undergraduate and 15% of doctorate degrees in computer and information sciences. By contrast, women continue to earn the largest proportion of degrees at all levels (associate through doctoral degrees) in the fields they have traditionally dominated, such as health professions which include nursing, physical therapy and health administration (83%) and education (77%).
To enhance the status, basic requirements are a must for human beings. Many traditional and religious beliefs prevent women from practicing their rights. Uneducated or illiterate women feel that they are not as capable as males. They hesitate to enjoy their rights and freedom. However, educated and conscious women are enjoying different types of freedom and rights such as working in different areas, travelling to different places to gain knowledge, etc. In order to improve the status of women in Nepal, they have to be provided with all types of rights. Legally, there are many rights which are provided to women but their application is still miserable as in other developing countries. In Nepal, women themselves should be more alert and conscious to enhance their status and rights. For this, the governing body, people as well as family should be more concerned to increase the number of educated women in the country.
Women education is one of the most important objectives for the development of the country. It is because an educated woman can help to enhance their family, society and country as well. They can look after their children properly, can help their husband to live their life happily and successfully. Likewise a literate woman can support the family to run their own business. She can also be a good candidate to lead the nation. A woman as a mother is the first teacher of her children. The education system in which both boys and girls learn together to get education in the same institution during the same time is co-education. At present, co-education is still criticized in some places as of ancient time but it’s the most important way to increase female education in our country. Therefore, co-education system with the involvement of more girl children is the most important factor for development in a developing country like Nepal. 
In various societies of different countries, females are neglected. They are believed to be the means of entertainment, enjoyment and reproduction which is a very bad perception not only for women but also for the betterment of human civilization. In the context of our country, only 57.4 % of females are literate whereas average literacy rate is 65%. It indicates a large number of women are limited to household activities because of being illiterate so that they are conservative and superstitious too. Nowadays, most of the girls from urban areas are going to schools and colleges for better opportunities of higher education. But in the case of rural areas, girls are getting comparatively lower opportunities. It might be because of the early marriage culture and lack of awareness in parents in rural areas. Some of the organizations which are continuing their efforts to provide education to females are RUWON Nepal, Women LEAD Nepal, EDUC-Nepal, etc. 
In context of our country, women should be made literate through adult literacy programme. Governing bodies, social workers as well as every conscious individual should encourage them to be literate and then educate. If this programme is implemented properly, women can teach good manners to their children, make them disciplined and socially conscious individuals. We know that mother is the most important teacher of everyone. The central government as well as the seven states should give a high priority to educate women. Above all, women themselves should be more conscious and active to uplift their status. Thus, in order to ensure sustainable development, people should promote women education by providing equal opportunity to them on the basis of equity.

An M.A. in Economics from TU and M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Management from KU, the author has long been involved in the field of education