There has been much controversy over the inequality women face in the workplace throughout the world and the lack of education girls receive in some parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East. Last year, Taliban radicals shot Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani student, because she was advocating the education of girls in Pakistan and attended school even though the Taliban passed a law illegalizing the education of young women. She has since recovered and continues to promote the education of young women. This incident has drawn attention towards the discrimination young women face in developing countries, such as Pakistan.
As a student of an all-female Catholic high school in the United States, I believe that the education of young girls is of great importance. The education of all members of society is essential to productivity. Education gives young women the ability to become active members of society. The only thing that separates a man and woman is their sex, not their intellectual capabilities. Society becomes underdeveloped when men are the only one’s contributing ideas. I applaud Malala Yousafzai’s bravery for advocating the education of young women in her country because she is expressing how women are not solely meant to be housewives, which is a common assumption in many societies. Since many cultures, societies, and even religions are patriarchal, there exists a subconscious assumption that women are inferior and are meant to stay at home and bear children. Without education, girls are forced to accept this role as housewife. The Taliban particularly holds this assumption about women, which is evident by their legislation that illegalized the education of women. They refuse to acknowledge the capability of women to contribute to society.
In the context of the more modern world, women face discrimination in the workplace, which stems from the idea that a woman’s place is in the home. In this sense first world countries are similar to developing countries. The lack of education given to young women in developing countries stops them from having a career, and the careers of women in first world countries are inhibited by discrimination. These aspects of these countries connect back to what Malala Yousafzai is trying to convey: why can’t women be given the opportunity to reach their full potential? In order to help decrease discrimination against women in developing countries, first world countries need to set an example by eliminating this discrimination entirely. Women should have the equal opportunities in the workplace, school, and society in general.
Malala Yousafzai. Digital image. SHE Canada. SHE Canada Magazine, 12 July 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. <http://shemagazine.ca/courage-was-born-malala-yousafzai-speec/>.
Williams, Matthew. “Is There a Gender Gap in Education?” KQED Education. KQED Inc., 18 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. <http://blogs.kqed.org/education/2013/10/18/is-there-a-gender-gap-in-education/>.