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Date Posted: Wed, Jul 16 2008, 05:16:27pm
This is not about the ability or intelligence of girls/women or that women are not achievers, women are the back bone of any society.
Women are often unable to excel outside a home environment
and unable overcome the obstacles that prevent them from achieving life to the fullest or overcome poverty if inequality exists within a community. This also applies to men in the community where funding or resources for basic education is not available. Women can be further disadvantaged due to unfair systems, past cultural practices and attitudes towards women as having low status.
There are thousands of women in PNG that have very successful jobs, whether they are teachers, nurses, Doctors, secretaries, retail assistants , cleaners, cooks, whatever, these women are often the sole income earner for the family. This have been achieved by attending school, working hard, dedication but more importantly their jobs have been achieved by being given the opportunity to attend school through funding provided by either family, federal or provincial governments or through scholarships or additional training through employers.
There are of course many thousands more women and men out in the community that do not have an education because they simply have not been given the opportunity to attend schools.
Education and in particular literacy are the foundations of providing girls/women with access to information which will benefit the women and the family directly
I can understand your reference to the movie G. I. Jane, where in Jordan O’Neill became the first women navy seal officer, O’Neill had to go to extremes to achieve that position. But remember of course, O’Neill does live in USA.Education in USA has compulsory school attendance is mandatory up to High school level. Education also starts at kindergarten level. Funding is provided to everyone, everyone is equal when it comes to education, and every child is given the opportunity to attend school.
Education in PNG is not compulsory, schools are unknown of in remote rural areas, funding is not always provided by Federal or Provincial government, some parents have little or no income for additional fees or school books. Girls from families with little or no cash income will never be given the opportunity to attend school.
We come from humble beginnings and some where along the track, if you have a education and a well paying job, I ask you “where did it all begin?”
Some where at some point in time you have been given the opportunity to attend school, the drive to achieve comes from within, but to be able to attend school that comes from other sources!!! money, money, money, governments, churches, scholarships, etc.
Unfortunatley not everyone in PNG has the opportunity to receive an education and girls/women are disadvantaged.
Illiteracy rate among the female population in remote rural areas in 1997 was 85%...maybe someone has more up to date figures.
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