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What economic, social, political and cultural factors influence the ability for women to gain an education?

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Introduction

What economic, social, political and cultural factors influence the ability for women to gain an education? In LEDC's, women's roles consist mainly of looking after a family and working on the land to increase food productivity. In Zambia, Ghana, Botswana and Gambia, studies found that the amount harvested depended not on what the land could yield but on how much work the women could possibly fit into the daylight hours. Some types of work are not available to women in the third world. If women were given the choice to be educated, famine would be an issue threatening almost all developing countries. In Nepal, although women provide between 66% and 100% of the labour in agricultural activities, training and advice about agriculture has always been directed more at men. New technology introduced tends to help men with their tasks despite the fact that women have more back-breaking work to do on the land. The political situation makes it difficult for women to access education. In Britain it was not until the 1850's that schools were opened for girls to have the chance to study the same subjects as boys the same age. ...read more.

Middle

Evidence shows that most jobs could be done by women if given sufficient training, yet some women are not given the chance. In what follows I will discuss the changes that the education of women could make to a country's development. The education of women enables them to seek jobs which suit their ability and interest. Finding a job with a good annual salary can give a woman confidence in her ability and new found independence, which is valued so much perhaps because women have had to fight for the same rights as men. In Britain, many women are choosing to buy their own property, simply because they can as the pay gap between men and women is gradually closing. In a survey, it was found that more women (22% more) than men value their independence. Could this possibly be a sign of a role reversal? As the number of graduates from university consists of almost equal numbers of males and females, there is now healthy competition between the male and female sex for the same jobs. Identical qualifications of the same standard mean that an employer's decision should be based entirely on the personality and attitude of the candidate (aided by the Equal Opportunities Act). ...read more.

Conclusion

As women are choosing to follow a career before they choose to marry, they are leaving less time to raise a family. This could effectively bring the birth rate down considerably. In certain places in Italy, the birth rate is down to below the replacement level, as women are choosing to work rather than staying at home to look after a family. Also, the majority of people have realised that if they choose not to have children, they can spend money on other things and have a more comfortable life. In conclusion, the education of women has the potential to bring the birth rate down due to their choice of waiting until later in life to settle down and pursuing a career instead. This is made possible by the availability of family planning and contraceptives, which are not available in places such as Bangladesh where childlessness is sometimes grounds for divorce. The death rate also has the potential to decrease, due to more people on the forefront of research into the treatment of inherited diseases, cancers etc. The education of women can speed up the rate of development by bringing more money into a country, so it is unfortunate that religions, lifestyles, attitudes and also economic and political factors are preventing women from accessing education. Emma Alexander U63 ...read more.

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