For many women, the idea of attaining an education is out of reach for various reasons. Factors such as lack of money, lack of familial/community support and lack of time prevent many women from taking the steps to gain higher education or in some cases even a basic high school degree.
Meanwhile, some find the idea of higher education complicated and unnecessary. Strict beliefs in traditional family structure, concerns about costs and lack of role models; all contribute to the belief that women do not need an education in order to have a better quality of life.
However, countless studies over the years have shown that, education is indeed, one of the biggest keys to a better quality of life for women. The Population Reference Bureau issued a report that highlighted among several things, the importance of education in various areas of women’s lives. On a global level, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) has also made strides in reducing the gap between men and women’s education. Both organizations emphasize the fact that quality of life for women is vastly improved by education. Not just quality of life for women who receive education, but also, those around these women.
Women who seek higher education certainly have the added benefit of earning more than women who do not seek higher education. Noticeably this can be demonstrated in the form of higher compensation by way of earned wages, but also added value to the family unit. A home with two wage earners may break a cycle of poverty in which many people find themselves. Access to more money also means access to more educational opportunities including resources like online textbooks, online classes, transportation to classes, and other barriers to education that may exist because of economic issues.
Women who have more education also have more knowledge about how to take care of themselves and their families. But they also have access to better health care through either various company sponsored healthcare programs or the ability to afford better healthcare insurance. This in turn can also lead to better overall healthcare because of the availability of prescriptions, mental health and other forms of healthcare.
Women who have earned degrees are more likely to set an example for younger generations, which benefits society as a whole. The PRB Report details how female education improves the ability of a society to increase its labor force. This is because the more education a woman has obtained, the more likely she is to find gainful employment outside of the home.
This also leads to an increased likelihood that her children or those around her, will follow in her footsteps, also resulting in more education and workers. Traditional family structure no longer needs to be an obstacle to a woman receiving an education. Knowledge gained about healthcare, nutrition, and improved literacy improves the overall ability of a society to function better. Female education has also been linked to a decrease in child mortality rates and illiteracy; and an increase in overall family health and access to education.
A loss of a spouse who may be the primary wage earner can land a woman in a position of having to provide for herself and / or any children. Even women, who for some reason cannot leave their children at home or are in rural areas, can take advantage of online coursework. These courses are often more affordable and use elements like eTextbooks that avoid the need for the usually high prices of customary books and coursework or the need for travel.
The investment in an education for women is directly linked to quality of life for women and those around them. It improves the community and society as a whole.