Not long ago, the idea of women’s receiving education was supposed to be a revolting one. People thought that female education would destroy the peace and happiness of the home. Every educated woman was suspected to be a self-conceited bluestocking, good only for reading novels, playing on the organ, insulting her husband, disobeying her husband’s parents, and idling away the time that she ought to have given to domestic duties.
But now the idea about female education has changed. Today, ‘the educated girsl’ is almost as common a phenomenon as ‘the educated boy’. Education has now come to be regarded as an indispensable part of female qualities. The old world conservatism has given way to the advance of liberal ideas. The education of girls is now recognized as the education of the mother, and through her, that of the children.
The question that should interest every right thinking person is the curriculum of education to be laid down for women be the same as that for men? As things now stand, very little difference is made. Women are now taught almost the same subjects as taught to men.
University education is becoming increasingly popular with women. Almost all the universities have thrown open their doors to women. And this inflow of women has created new problems. There is a crying need for opening separate institutions for women.
There is no gainsaying the fact that educated women can always prove themselves as good mothers, under whose care children are capable of unfolding their latent capacities and become useful citizens of the state. In fact, no nation has ever reached the heights of glory unless her women are educated. Uneducated women are generally superstitious; consequently, their children become cowardly and develop many psychological complexes. Illiterate women fail to look after their children properly. This causes many premature deaths that bring misery to thousands of families.
Educated women generally prove to be good wives. They are able to keep a balanced economy and save their husbands from unnecessary worries. If the husband of an educated woman dies, she can manage to bring up her children by adopting the profession of a teacher or a nurse. On the other hand, an illiterate woman fails to manage her affairs, and consequently, her children are often spoiled, or become criminals. As educated wife can supplement the meager income of her husband by serving in the capacity of a teacher or a doctor, and thus, raise the standard of living of the family.
Some people think that the aim of female education should be to prepare women for independent careers and that matrimony should not be the sole aim but only one of the aims of their lives. Women make better teachers than men. In our schools there should be more women teachers than men teachers, as the former are always more sympathetic towards the children, studying under their care. They prove to be more efficient than men also in nursing the sick and the wounded.
Women must be given education but their education should be consistent with the principles of our culture and religion. Women education cannot be of the same type as that of men. We should give our women such education as may help in making them good citizens of Pakistan and worthy mothers of the great Muslim nation.