‘If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.’
It is a well-known fact that, on average, women in Africa tend to receive less education than men. As African intellectual James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey explained in a lecture in Ghana, the education of women has many positive effects for our society.
If we educate a woman, we educate our nation. This is because they are the part of society who currently are most lacking in an education. If women can receive better schooling, then the whole of Africa will be better educated.
We know education is a good thing for men. An educated person is likely to have better job opportunities, both in Africa and abroad. This enables them to earn more money, or do a more interesting job, which raises their standard of living. When we have an education we are also likely to live longer, as we are more aware of diseases and have the money to pay for medical care.
So it makes sense to pass education on to women. They are a resource that we can tap into. If we can educate more women, and get them doing more highly paid jobs, then the whole of Africa will have a higher income. If African people have more money in their wallets, then they will spend more money. This creates more jobs and higher wages, which means less poverty. The education of women could be a significant part of Africa’s route to development.
If we can get more women educated, and therefore more women working, our society might become a better place. Women can provide a new perspective on life. A wider range of views makes a problem more likely to be solved. Moreover, if we can get more women in positions of responsibility, they will be able to make our society work better for women – who represent half of its members.
If you educate a woman, you also educate a nation in that an educated mother will be able to pass on her education to her children. The mother is often the closest person to a child during the critical years of their early development. If this mother has an education, she will be more able to teach her child things that will help them later on in life. So the education of women will better educate our nation in the long-term.