Effects Of Culture On Access To Secondary School Education For Girls In Nigeria


Effects Of Culture On Access To Secondary School Education For Girls In Nigeria

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  • Name: Effects Of Culture On Access To Secondary School Education For Girls In Nigeria
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This chapter introduces the reader to the study of female access to secondary education in Kisarawe. The chapter is divided into the following subheadings: introductory part that addresses the background to the study, statement of the problem, research objectives, research questions, significance, limitation and delimitation of the study.

1.1 Background to the problem

In the literature, women are presented as not being able to access education on the equal chance as men. Scholars have attributed this gender imbalance due to cultural norms (UNESCO, 2003). Others have pointed fingers to the economy (UNESCO, 2000) and others to political and inadequacy of education services ( Evance and Lestebe 1998). In Saudi Arabia where girls marry before they reach the age of 16, gender imbalance in education is contributed by local norms especially early marriage, forced marriage and traditions social beliefs, and principles stand in the way, limiting women’s opportunities to acquire or complete their education (Almunajjed, 2009). Girls in Saudi Arabia, assume marital and family responsibilities when they have not completed their education and their chance to secure employment is minimal. Due to gender based expectation in modern society, girls are socialized into role of home and child rearing, while boys are socialized into leadership roles- being taken to school and to the world of work out-side their home. Literature suggests that, children (both girls and boys) develop life-long attitude towards themselves from their socialization. Girls who show attributes of good care taker of the home are rewarded and those who show attributes of playing and being brave are scolded. This means that girls grow up with the notion that, they must show caring attitude to be accepted in society. During early socialization, mothers and aunts discourage their daughters from studying since ultimately they are to come back, marry cook for their husbands; comfort them in bed and produce children (Omary, 2006). Atekyereza (2001) note that socialization, the process of learning what is socio-culturally accepted and unacceptable, is responsible for the difference in personality attributes among boys and girls. The authors see socialization as referring to the pressures rewarding, punishing, ignoring and anticipating that push the child towards evoking certain acceptable responses. Children are taught that men have to work to secure their status while women don’t (Misra, 2005). While it is easily acceptable for a man to participate in lifelong learning programs or go back to school to learn new marketable change skills, it is not so acceptable to women (World Bank 2001). According to World Bank, Community as a whole does not support women’s lifelong learning, many evenings continuing education courses are offered in a very high cost where by many women fail to afford. UNESCO (1982) in Asia points to the situation where girls are not supported to be as smart as their brothers, they do not strive to perform in education. Boys on the other hand strive to be smart because they are encouraged and supported and their efforts are recognized. In Canada, Radtke and Spronk (1988) points that, the public education system treats males and female differently. These expectations have led to a limited range of fields for female students in schools, universities and colleges as a report from OXFAM (2009) indicates countless women in the developing world are found to be removed from the field of information and communication technology because of their lower levels of education. While ICT is the present driving force of modern economy, without access to information technology, an understanding of its significance and the ability to use it, those left behind, majority of whom being women, they will be further marginalized from the main stream of their countries and the world. Scholars have attributed global gender imbalance with political activities where women in national parliaments are underrepresented. In Arab States for example, women represent only 6.8%, while in America 18.6% and in Nordic Countries they represent only 39.7% (UNDP, 2005). When women are underrepresented in the parliaments, where most of decisions are made, it follows that they will be underrepresented in all other social spheres including in education. According to UNDP, the absence of women from structures of governance inevitability means that national regional and local priorities that is, how resources are allocated – are typically defined without meaningful input from women, whose life experience gives them a different awareness of the community need concerns and interests from that of men. In United States for example, scholars who have focused on gender issues often treat all aspects of education as working to the disadvantage of women (Ngaiza, (2002).According to Ngaiza, women fare less in the area of access, and in terms of the college experience and are particularly disadvantaged with respect to the outcomes of schooling. Socio-cultural values arise from patriarchal cultural traditions that uphold the interests and needs of men and over those of women. They mainly relate to ignorance, the inadequate or mis -socialization of children, traditional perception of the social status of women and their subsequent vulnerability and the undervaluing or generally negative attitudes of the population to education and particularly to girls education. Such attitudes tend to vary with the parents education background among other factors (World Bank 2001). Of the pupils who enter primary school 48 percent of boys and 29 percent of girls complete the cycle. Girls are educated so they know how to read and write or to be better mothers, rather than for employment. Married daughters are believed to be likely than married sons to remit cash income to their parents (UNICEF 2001).



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