The quote, “If you educate a boy, you educate an individual but if you educate a girl, you educate a nation” originated from an African proverb. It might have originated because of the societal roles of men and women, society’s expectations, and the contribution each gender has made to the community. Both men and women have educated the nation in many different ways, either by contributing to the society, or to their families. Hence, I disagree with this quote, as not all men have never educated a nation.
In society, men and women are expected to contribute to the society in different ways. The way they contribute to the society, and if it is seen as a contribution is affected by the societal roles and expectations of both genders. In a typical developed country, the societal role and expectations of men is to be the breadwinner of the family, while women are expected to take care of the family, stay at home, and do domestic chores. However, the societal expectations of women are starting to change.
More women are educated, and more are working, but women who work are expected to be able to balance work, and family. Men are usually seen as successful if they have a stable income and are able to support their families financially. It usually falls into the mother’s responsibility to educate the children, which leads to ‘if you educate a girl, you educate the whole nation’, as educating the children eventually leads to the children growing up and teaching their children, which includes the things that their parents taught them.
On the other hand, no matter how busy the father is, there are still some occasions in which the father has disciplined the children, and taught the children, which, again, by teaching the children, leads to a contribution to society. Hence, the quote does not really apply here, as men and women both have contributions to the society; fathers and mothers both educate their children. The National Center for Educational Statistics reported that when fathers are involved in their children’s education, the kids were more likely to get As, enjoy school, and participate in extracurricular activities.
Also, researchers have found out that children whose fathers are involved in rearing them fare better on cognitive tests and in language ability than those with less responsive or involved fathers. Improved cognitive abilities are usually associated with higher educational achievement. In fact, fathers who are involved in their children’s schools and academic achievement, regardless of their own educational level, are increasing the chances their child will graduate from high school, and perhaps go to vocational school, or even to college.
On the other hand, researchers have discovered that mothers are more likely to encourage assimilative and communion-enhancing patterns in their children, and to acknowledge their children’s contributions in conversation. Furthermore, the way mothers speak to their children is better suited to support very young children in their efforts to understand speech (in context of the reference English). Hence, if you educate a boy or girl, you educate the whole nation, as both men and women have different ways of contributing to the society, and educating the nation.
The societal roles, societal expectations, and the examples of men and women who have contributed to society that I have mentioned above mainly apply to the people who live in a developed country. For example, countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, and Singapore. However, it does not necessarily mean that the quote is true for less-developed or developing countries, for example, Africa. The societal role of men and women in Africa is almost the same as the more developed countries – the exception: only a few women in Africa are allowed to go to school.
However, even though only a few women in Africa are allowed to go to school, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not educated. They could have been educated by their parents, and educated the society by teaching their children. For example, African mothers often pass down folktales to their children – these folktales serve to teach their children good moral values, and help them to better understand the world around them, or skills like cooking – more often to females. In Africa, fathers are the breadwinner of the family, like in the more developed countries.
In Africa, fathers educate the society by educating their children. They teach their children physical skills, like farming, and often tell their children stories about their experiences. Hence, educated men and women both contribute to their society, and educate their nation, irregardless of where they live. There are many men and women who have contributed to the society. Abraham Lincoln successfully led America through its greatest constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil war – by preserving the Union by force while ending slavery and promoting economic modernization.
He helped to bring America’s economy to new heights. During Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I’s reign in England, there were great achievements in writing and peace in England. Teddy Roosevelt worked to provide workers, consumers, business owners, farmers, and other groups an equal opportunity to succeed, and he enforced workplace inspections, and regulated product labels, among other things. Marie Curie, a famous scientist, won two Nobel prizes, is famous for her work with her husband on radioactivity, and discovered radium and polonium.
Her discoveries helped the world learn more about the elements in our universe. Fredrick Douglass escaped from slavery, became the leader of the abolitionist movement, gained note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing, and stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. He helped to show that slaves deserved equal rights too.
Maria Montessori, the first woman to graduate from the University of Rome’s Medical College, is famous for her work in the education of young children. There are so many men and women in the world who have contributed to the society, be it in educating the people, helping to improve people’s lives, or to share new discoveries that could be used in improving the life of people in the world. Unlike the quote, it isn’t just women who have contributed to the society, but men have also contributed to the society.
Men and women have both contributed to the society, be it in the same or in different ways. It is because of their contributions to society, that they have educated the nation, either by new discoveries, helping people, or by passing their knowledge on. In conclusion, the quote “If you educate a boy, you educate an individual but if you educate a girl, you educate a nation” doesn’t really apply in today’s context. Women might educate their family more than males do, however males still do educate their families.
Furthermore, men and women both contribute to the society through work, helping their society grow economically, and socially, by discovering new information, and using it to help to contribute to the society’s growth and well-being. There are also many examples of men and women who have played a part in educating the society. With these contributions to society by both educated men and women, both genders have played a part in educating their nation, or nations.
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