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Women Education System In Bangladesh : Part 1

The education system of women in Bangladesh.

Tina S
Tina S
Sep 28, 2009
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Statement of the Study

The government of Bangladesh and its people understand the value of an educated population. As such, over the last decade, many projects have been undertakes to educate the people of the nation.
Yet, there still is a large gender gap in Bangladesh when it comes to education. Similar to many developing countries, women's education in Bangladesh lags far behind compared to that of men.
The fact that women are less educated than men is largely due to ancient tradition and common mentality. The reasons why women are seldom as well educated than men lie outside the education system. Ideas about the appropriate roles for women in the labor market or in society, about the biological unsuitability of women for science, and about the gender-based division of work in the household and on the farm influence decisions about schooling.
This research paper aims to stimulate a thinking process by sensitization and creating awareness for enhances Women education in Bangladesh.


Operational Definition

The government of Bangladesh and its people understand the value of an educated population. As such, over the last decade, many projects have been undertakes to educate the people of the nation. Yet, there still is a large gender gap in Bangladesh when it comes to education. Similar to many developing countries, women's education in Bangladesh lags far behind compared to that of men.

The fact that women are less educated than men is largely due to ancient tradition and common mentality. The reasons why women are seldom as well educated than men lie outside the education system. Ideas about the appropriate roles for women in the labor market or in society, about the biological unsuitability of women for science, and about the gender-based division of work in the household and on the farm influence decisions about schooling.

The school participation rate is defined as the percentage of individuals who have ever been in school. In Bangladesh, 58 percent of male attended school whereas only 41 percent of female attended school. However, the recent commitment of the government and non-government agencies to decrease the gap between genders is working very well. Today, for those under 20, about 64 percent of males and 57 percent of women have attended school. This is a 10 percent increase for men and a 39 percent increase for women.

Introduction

The census figures from 1981 and 1991 indicate that the low level of literacy was even lower among females than males in Bangladesh's basically patriarchal society. With a strong Moslem influence, women have been traditionally passive and largely excluded from the schools and colleges in Bangladesh. The gender gap in education was even wider in the villages in the vastly rural population; these gaps have been shrinking gradually due to the influx of urban-industrial areas and the impact of mass media (newspaper, radio, television, and, recently, computers).

Since the liberation war in 1971, Bangladesh, as an independent and secular state, has been allowing many forms of educational institutions, various modes of instruction, and different languages as mediums of instruction to co-exist. Students are free to choose from three types of schools: English medium, Bangla medium and religious schools.

The 2001 female-headed government of Bangladesh has been emphasizing education for women who have traditionally kept away from schools. This objective is to be achieved by training additional female teachers, establishing women's colleges, and offering special scholarships.
A recent government report in 1999 mentions that 7000 female teachers were being appointed. Between 1997 and 2002, 18 non-government women's colleges, as well as three polytechnic institutes, were established.

Bangladesh has been actively participating in various international organizations such as UNESCO and has declared a target of "Education for All." The government hopes to remove illiteracy from the country by the year 2005. The latest available figures indicate overall literacy went from 47 percent to 56 percent from 1997 to 2001. Various governmental and nongovernmental plans are being developed to spread formal, non formal, general, and specialized education, with the help of international agencies and increases in the present budget plan.

Findings and Discussion

Causes

Women in Bangladesh are from various parts. Women from urban areas are being educated than other parts. Various researches show some causes of this problem.
Basically About 82 percent of women lived in rural areas in the late 1980s.
T

he majority of rural women, perhaps 70 percent, were in small cultivator, tenant, and landless households; many worked as laborers part time or seasonally, usually in post-harvest activities, and received payment in kind or in meager cash wages.

Another 20 percent, mostly in poor landless households, depended on casual labor, gleaning, begging, and other irregular sources of income; typically, their income was essential to household survival. The remaining 10 percent of women were in households mainly in the professional, trading, or large-scale landowning categories, and they usually did not work outside the home.

Majority of rural and as well as urban girls are to be married at very early aged that’s why the rate of women education can’t grow rapidly. 

Impact

The fact that women are less educated than men is largely due to ancient tradition and common mentality. The reasons why women are seldom as well educated than men lie outside the education system. Ideas about the appropriate roles for women in the labor market or in society, about the biological unsuitability of women for science, and about the gender-based division of work in the household and on the farm influence decisions about schooling.

The school participation rate is defined as the percentage of individuals who have ever been in school. In Bangladesh, 58 percent of male attended school whereas only 41 percent of female attended school.
However, the recent commitment of the government and non-government agencies to decrease the gap between genders is working very well. Today, for those under 20, about 64 percent of males and 57 percent of women have attended school. This is a 10 percent increase for men and a 39 percent increase for women. At the postsecondary level, the transition rate, from secondary school towards higher education, is generally higher among girls than among boys.

In fact, at the country level, some 23 percent of females of all ages, who complete the secondary level, move on to the postsecondary level, compared with only 25 percent of males. The transition level gap for the younger generation is even wider where 28 percent of female go on to higher studies compared to merely nine percent of boys.

Advantages

 

Women should be educated in Bangladesh and also all nations in the world.
Some advantages of women education are given below:

1. Economy:

Bangladeshi women contribute substantially to their households and to the country's
Economy. The majority of women workers are primarily involved in the informal sector of the economy. Within the formal sector, a large number of women work in export-oriented industries (e.g., garments), the source of 70 percent of Bangladesh’s foreign exchange. A significant number of women also work as teachers, lawyers, journalists, government employees, and for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Their activities, in turn, contributed to the transformation of traditional values and gender roles of Bangladeshi women.

2. Country Development:

There are over 1,000 local and national organizations in Bangladesh that generate
Self-employment opportunities for over 8 million poor, mostly women, through micro credit and training in literacy, technical skills, and legal rights. Civil society, particularly women’s organizations, has been a strong force in bringing forward women’s issues and interests onto the country’s development agenda.
Moreover, Bangladesh has more than 18,000 registered NGOs of a diverse nature working on a broad range of development issues.

3. Decrease Fertility rate:

The fertility rate has dramatically fallen from 6.34 per woman in 1975 to 3.8 in 1996,
mainly due to effective family planning measures, increased age of marriage, effective immunization, and reduction of child mortality. Fertility is higher in rural (2.76) than in urban areas (2.48). In rural areas the fertility rate is higher for women aged between 20 and 35 years. For urban women women's increased participation in the labor force starting at adolescence contributes significantly to controlling fertility. Total fertility rate estimates from various sources show an unmistakable declining trend since 1975 and during 1975-1996, there was a reduction of about 3.16 children per woman over this 21-year period. Here, too, women were the major factor behind fertility reduction as they are the major adopters of family planning measures.

4. Decrease Mortality Rate:

With regard to mortality, the population belonging to 0-1 and 50 years and above is
more vulnerable than any other age group. For the 0-1 age group, the mortality rate of the male population used to be higher than that of the female population, but now the death rate of girl children is higher than boy children. Women are also gravely exposed to the dangers of childbirth. A pervasive gender differential in entitlement to food, nutrition, and care leads to a higher death rate of girl children than boy children. Factors such as high maternal mortality, women’s unnatural deaths, and trafficking have all made women more vulnerable than men.

5. Decrease Marriage Rate:

Once upon a time in our country early marriage was a trend. A woman, on an average, is married before reaching the age of 20 years (BBS 1998). Since marriage, among other things, transfers guardianship of the bride from her father to her husband, permission for further education, employment, hospitalization, or any other disposal of a married woman's time outside her conjugal residence is to be sought from her husband.

6. Increase Nutritional Status :

Women’s low nutritional status is related to their low socioeconomic status.
Around 70 percent of women and children in Bangladesh suffer from nutritional deficiency anemia. Women are more malnourished than men at every stage of life but this phenomenon is more visible in the case of adolescent girls and pregnant mothers. A quarter of maternal deaths is associated with anemia and hemorrhage. Social norms and practices acknowledge male’s nutritional needs more than that of female supposedly because of men’s hard work in the field. Tables A.5 and A.6 (Appendixes) reveal that the calorie deficit of pregnant and lactating women is almost 30 percent. 6 The male nutrient intake is higher than for females at all ages. Malnourished mothers give birth to low-weight babies who can become stunted and underweight.

7. Personal Security:

Violence against women is rampant. Its manifestations range from teasing, hijacking,
Severe assault, kidnapping, acid throwing, and murder (dowry deaths). From early childhood till they become old, women's mobility is highly restricted. Although violence against women cuts across all classes, vulnerability differs by class.

If a woman will be educated than she can give her own security. She will not dependable another person for economic and also mentally.












Author's note: Another part of this article is available on this following URL: http://conveylive.com/a/women_education_in_bd_part2
Keywords: women, education, women education, bangladesh, development, women, girls, development of girls



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