Women have to play an important role in the development of the country. If we want to make democracy successful, women must be educated. They are the builders of happy homes.
It is in their lap that the children receive their first lesson. As the mothers are, so will be the children. Moreover, certain professions are most suitable to the nature of women. Women make the best nurses. Primary education can be given only by women. There are many other professions in which women can play a very important part. In nutshell, the progress of the country depends upon female education. We must give up our conservative out-look. The need of female education was never so great as it is to-day.
All now accept the necessity of giving education to women. But there are differences of opinion on the type of education which should be given to them. Indeed, it is a very important issue. Should boys and girls be given the same kind of education? Or should there be different types of education for boys and girls? If we decide to give different types of education to girls, then of what type should it be? These are the questions which must be answered. Wrong type of education can cause greater harm than good to our girls.
Some feel that women should be given a different kind of education from the one given to boys. Women have to discharge their duties as good mothers as well as citizens of a free democratic country. Their education should be such as may enable them to run their homes efficiently-and make them good mothers. Their sphere of activity is entirely different from that of men. So must be their education.
However, education in citizenship is also a must for them for they too are citizens of a democratic country. They must also be taught to prevent the misuse of religion for political purposes. They must all shun violence for it leads to terrorism. They must do their best to prevent the disintegration of their country.
Another question is whether there should be co-education or not. Opinions differ widely on this issue. There are men who strongly advocate co-education at all stages. On the other extreme are those who are deadly against it. But the truth lies in between these two extremes. Boys and girls may be educated together in primary and university classes. But co-education in high school and inter classes is full of dangers. We should take full advantage of co-education as well as safeguard ourselves against its evil effects. This will be the best policy for giving education to women.
The theory that women are inferior to men, physically, mentally and morally, has been proved wrong. The deeds of bravery, courage and velour of Maharani Luxmi Bai of Jhansi make the bravest of the brave bow their heads before her name. Every Indian takes pride in the late Sarojini Naidu. Her sacrifices and her outstanding services to the motherland are a source of inspiration to all. In recent times, late Mrs. Indira Gandhi impressed all by her courage and determination. As a leader, she acquired an international status.
Today, Indian women are trying to become economically self-sufficient. Our constitution has provided that our women shall have equal opportunities with men in the fields of education, employment and social, economic and political opportunities. They are entitled to equal wages with men for equal work and have been given the right to take up progressive occupations and professions. Though the position of women in village communities has not yet improved much, in urban areas women are enjoying high position in every walk of life. They are taking to careers which were considered the monopoly of men like the Police and Administrative services.
Indeed, society runs on two wheels. Both the wheels must be equally strong to run smoothly. although legally and theoretically women is now recognized as the social equal of man, but the institutions of caste, the patriarchal family, religious mores and the prevailing value system are still surcharged due to the spirit of male dominance. However, women are being educated in increasing numbers. Let all of us give up our fears of, and prejudices against, female education. All the impediments must be removed from the way of their education. Let no girl remain without it, for educated women would be much better citizens of their country.