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Introducing myself and my journal: Women, Education and Society

About Me:
I am a young lady aged twenty four. I am originally from Zimbabwe but I am currently enrolled at the University of Fort Hare for my PhD in Literature, my area of focus being Gender Studies. I am the first born in my family and I love reading and seeing other people succeed in life. My goal in life is to positively change at least one person's life and help them achieve their goals.

My Passions:
Reading, Writing, Teaching.

My Challenges:

My Vision for the Future:
A patriarchal free society which fully recognizes the potential and capabilities of every woman.

My Areas of Expertise:
Gender issues, Language editing, Writing, Teaching.

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Pamela's picture

Women, Education and Society

Adapted from Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions:
"I understood that there was not enough money for my fees. Yes, I did understand why I could not go back to school, but I loved going to shool and I was good at it. Therefore, my circumstances affected me badly. My father thought I should not mind: 'Is that anything to worry about? Ha-a-a, it's nothing,' he reassured me, with his usual ability to jump whichever way was easiest. 'Can you cook books and feed them to your husband? Stay at home with your mother. Learn to cook and clean. Grow vegetables.' "

The novel is about a young girl Tambu who is denied the opportunity to go to school because her parents cannot afford the school fees and also that her father believes that education was not important for women. However, she eventually manages to raise her own fees by selling maize cobs and later she is taken by her uncle who is a headmaster at a city mission school where she receives her education.

Tambu's plight is similar to most girl children especially those from the conservative rural areas marred by abject poverty and patriarchy; in the sense that the society believes that women's role in society is to be married, reproduce and manage domestic chores. A lot of young girls fail to go to school because in some cases, their families are too poor to afford the school fees; or they simply believe that education is not for women.

I remember when I was sixteen, my father used to be a teacher at a rural school in Zimbabwe. Sometimes, I would go to my father's school during holidays if he would be there to manage the vacation school. There was a particular girl who was very intelligent and she always obtained high marks. I actually used to think that she would make it to the University with all that intelligence. However, after a few months, I heard from my father that she had dropped out of school because her parents could not afford the fees and they had betrothed her to a young man in that village.I was quite moved by the young girl's circumstances and I realised that some people do not value education for women because they think that it is of no use in a woman's life.

Pamela Makati, South Africa

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