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Published in Echoes of Royalty Magazine, Vol .1, No.

7 (2017Edition), pp3-5

Initiatives Adopted to combat gender stereotypes in


Education (Social Stratification)
Oyelami Benjamin Oyediran
Ambassador for Peace
National Mathematical Centre, Abuja

1. Preambles
1.1 Education and production of responsible citizens

Many great Philosophers enumerated the importance of Education, let me mention


some of them: Aristotle said ‘‘in order to be good, a man must have been properly
educated and trained’’ Therefore, education makes people better not good. Martin
Luther King Jr, once said ‘‘Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true
education’’ the implication of this statement is that education apart from being tool
for developing intelligence of people it is also instrument for moulding character of
people to make them responsible citizens.

Furthermore, Gulan Hazrat, considering problem of insurgence in Afghanistan society


and using education as a tool in solving the problem said ‘‘Education is the factory
that turns animals into human beings. If women are educated that means that children
will be too’’ If people are properly educated, especially the girl child the society will
have less population of persons who will be shooting and killing people with guns and
bombs. Moreover, the society will not harbour kidnappers and other form of people
with criminal tendencies.

The biologists classified man and the domestic and wild animals as simply Animals. It
is education that makes the difference. The animal in the jungle learns how to hunt for
food and to escape from predators (enemies) but man is an embodiment of
intelligence and far above the brute animal because of his level of education.
Education of man has brought about civilization. Bertrand Russell said ‘‘Men are
born ignorant, not stupid, they are made stupid by education’’ The level of education
predetermines the level of rational thinking and reduces the level of animalistic
tendencies in man.

In my personal opinion, I belief that the beauty of intelligence is best showcased when
it garnished with education because it helps us to develop our intelligence and also

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Published in Echoes of Royalty Magazine, Vol .1, No.7 (2017Edition), pp3-5

empower us with instrument to be gainfully employed, and reduce the brute and
idiosyncrasy nature in man.

Poverty is no respecter of person or constraint to boundary of any nation and it is not


gender sensitive. In the world today, the most extremely wealthy persons such as Bill
gates, Amancio Ortega, Aliko Dangote, Lillian Bettencourt, Alice Walton and
Folorunso Alakija have some level of education or the other. Whereas, most poverty
redden people in the society are majority of uneducated people or people with low
level of education.

The owners of empire of businesses worldwide make use of high tech machineries to
run business and often employed the best brain and highly developed manpower.
Therefore, education is not only instrumenting to escape poverty but also a means to
comfortably be in the palace of wealth. Poverty is never gender sensitive and there is
no natural or spiritual law that says women should be the poorest people in the society
or men should be the wealthiest people in the society; but poverty tends to be with
people without education than with educated people.

2. Social Stratification and Gender Education


2.1 Gender stereotype

Gender stereotypes are concerned with social and cultural understanding construct of men
and women due to different physical, biological, sexual and social function. Social
stratification (SS) is sociologically defined as classification people according to belief
system, social statues such as level of income or influence of persons within given system.
SS is a property of a society rather than individuals in that society.

Sociologists concluded that SS is reproduced from generation to generation and it is found in


every society but differs from place to places. Moreover, SS is because of belief system and
has brought about the issue of gender inequality. Some societies do not embrace education of
girl child and do not support employments of women in the public and private sectors .The
reason being hinges on cultural and religious believes. There is, therefore, imbalance
between the role men and women play in such society. It is sad to note that, in some
developing nations, women are thought to be good as custodian of homes and there is need to
invest to educate them since their education will end in kitchen.

In Africa gender stereotype is well pronounced and everywhere present than other continents
in the world. Nursing, Education, Secretariat studies Hotel and Catering and Home economic
courses that appear to be exclusively reserved for ladies .Moreover, only boys opt for courses
like Mathematics, Physics and Engineering. In view of this, gender gap has been created in

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Published in Echoes of Royalty Magazine, Vol .1, No.7 (2017Edition), pp3-5

the production and employment of professionals in science, mathematics and technology in


Africa.

In developed countries boy and girls have equal access to education. there are women
employed in high tech companies; women are even Chief Executives of multi billion Asset
Companies and are even top government officers such as Presidents and Prime Ministers
examples are late Prime Minister of Britain, Margret Thatcher, late Indira Ghandi Prime
Minister of India, Chancellor Angela Markel of Germany and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
just to mention but few. There are 23 female world leaders today.

Many ladies from developed nations are Countries’ Representatives in the United Nations
(UN) Security Council taking crucial decision on behalf of the world. Whereas, in some
countries in Africa women are still regarded to be good for selling vegetables and cutting of
fire woods. In view of having parity in gender education Africa there must be paradigm shift
girls need to be educated and women need to be empowered through education to close the
gender gap between men and women. Girls and Boys must have equal access to education
that will be easy and affordable to parents/guardians.

Furthermore, there is the need to combat persistent gender stereotyping which had led to
insufficient opportunity for education and sharing of tasks among the male and female
persons in every society in the world. The society needs to combat the status quo that
exercises power and authority to a particular gender more instead being shared equally in
both directions. For instance, in the school system why a girl can’t be appointed as Labour
Prefect or class Governor? The extent of appointing students as Prefects or Governor is to
inculcate leadership and accountably responsibilities on them.

The part(c) of the Nigeria’s philosophy of Education is ‘Every Nigeria child shall have a
right to equal education at opportunities irrespective of any real or imagined disabilities each
according to his or her ability’ Therefore, every child male or female must have access to
education from primary school to university without friction. It is a collective effort of people
in the society to provide equal opportunity to children of diverse talents no matter their
religious or economic background or gender discrimination.

3. Initiatives to combat gender stereotypes

The United Nations (UN) through sustainable development goals has identified 17 priority
areas where nations must channel there resources for sustainable development by 2030. I will
only consider 3 points in the Goal 4 out of the 17 points agenda that are related to access to
equitable education and gender education.

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Published in Echoes of Royalty Magazine, Vol .1, No.7 (2017Edition), pp3-5

The goal 4.1 stipulates that by 2030 .ensure that girls and boys complete free, equitable and
quality primary school education leading to relevant and effective learning outcome.
The goal 4.3 stipulates that by 2030; ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable
quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university. The goal 4.5 which
stipulates that by 2030,eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to
all level of education and vocational training for vulnerable, including persons with
disabilities, indigenous people and children in vulnerable situation.

Finally, every boy and girl should be exposed to training in every area of life. There
shouldn’t be any profession that is exclusively reserved for men or women. Education should
be inclusive and equitable so that every child must be trained to become professional in his or
chosen carrier.

Conclusion
For the nation to attain sustainable development it must deploy resources that ensure all boys
and girls have equal access to affordable education at all level that will lead to effective
learning outcome. Every boy and girl should be exposed to training in every area of life.
There shouldn’t be any profession that is exclusively reserved for men or women. Education
should be inclusive and equitable so that every child must be trained to become professional
in his or chosen carrier the gender disparities in education must be eliminated for sustainable
development of the nation.

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