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VOF assignment week 3/girl's education

According to a document issued by the United Nations, more than half of the population in the Arab world constitutes of people aging 25 or below.This 'youth bulge' not only contributes to increased problems in the Arab societies, but also indirectly preserves the social system that marginalizes the females.

Though the literacy rates are in gradual increase over the years, the education of women is not translating into the actual participation of women in the labour force. Meanwhile, "only 30% of working-age women participate in the labor force in the Arab region as a whole."

Young educated females do make qualified employees, yet they also make qualified prestigious future brides. The female's success, bluntly said, is her ability to find a good (wealthy) husband, to give birth to couple of kids, and to raise these kids correctly. I do believe that motherhood is an appreciated task; however, it is unfair to restrict young females' access to further educational or vocational arenas because they are married mothers.

Females in this region are not expected to plan their conception dates in light of their academic or career standings. Rather, many females are socially applauded for conceiving, even if this means that the female will stop pursuing her degree or will never admit to university at all. Even when the female is not married, pressures are exerted to make her admit into a major that suitably fits into their future career as a mother. I know a young lady who wanted to study medicine, for that's what she loves and have dreamt of since childhood. Because a doctor does not have enough time to sit with her kids and take good attention of them, this lady's choice of major was modified to mathematics, for she can teach in a school with the same schedule as her kids. Unsurprisingly, this girl's performance in mathematics is very poor and she is hesitatingly pursuing this major that she never wanted.

Again, I do appreciate motherhood as a task, and i much more appreciate those who choose to devote all their time to their kids. Yet, a female should not be forced to be a mother, and, ahead of all, should not give up her own dreams just because she has kids. yes, she can be successful in her education and career, and still raise good kids.


This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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Iryna's picture

profession and satisfaction

Bitani, Thank you for your story!
So often we choose profession not because it's what we want, but under the pressure of circumctances. I am the best example. But I am the lucky one who has found a lot of satisfaction in her choice!

Warmest greetings from Ukraine,

TJ's picture

our own personal demons...

I see that you and I have similar perspectives according to this. It really is sad that we subscribe to the norms of society and follow the traditional roles so much. Like you, I have nothing against the traditional roles but I'd like for more women to understand that there are the traditional roles AND... (so much more they can do).

However, 30% is not a bad figure - it shows that there are changes being made.



Saving Angel's picture

I love this!

This is probably my most favorite line out of your piece: "she can be successful in her education and career, and still raise good kids". You're so right! We can still be great mothers and have successful educational and working careers! We shouldn't have to stand by while the ignorance of everyone else puts us down and prevents us from growing.

Much love & respect xoxoxo

Precious M's picture

Educate a woman and you

Educate a woman and you educate a nation. An educated woman often makes more impact than her male counterpart. So educating women of every background is absolutely important!
I enjoyed your post!


My pen speaks

Aminah's picture

You have said it in so few words

Dear Bitani,

I was trying to make exactly the same point in my post for this week's assignment.
As a mother we are asked to sacrifice so much. It should not be.

I agree with you. Motherhood is rewarding. But kids grow up and after some years they are independent and the mother has nothing stimulating task other than praying and waiting for death. I see so many of our women going through this motion and it breaks my heart and it makes me sad. I have so much dreams, so much ambition. It saddens me when women succumbs to societal pressure and reduce themselves to be mere furniture in their homes to be shifted here and there as the men please.

For women to enjoy motherhood, it has to be a choice.



Maya Norton's picture

Hi Bitani, I am trying to

Hi Bitani,

I am trying to read all (most, many, some!) of our VOF Week 3 submissions. I started with yours as the first and just came across ChargerRose's. I think you'll find your essays to be similar and thought you might like to see hers as an added perspective on what you've written about here. I've left her a similar note.

Warm wishes from Israel to Lebanon (you, my dear, have some of the best food in the world),

~ Maya

chargerrose7's picture


I agree so much with you! So beautifully written. Women , wives, moms every woman should have opportunity to get educated as far as they want to be. It is possible. We just have to make this happen for all.


bitani's picture

Thank you all!

Thanks to all of you wonderful ladies for the time you spent reading my piece and commenting on it: Iryna, T J, Saving Angel, Precious M, Aminah, Maya, and MissyRose.



"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."
—Judy Garland

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

Well put

Dear Bitani you have summarized well. I like the way you said that motherhood is an appreciated task. For sure we need to ensure that girls are educated because they tend to be more dedicated and more professional in the work that hey do. and surprisingly they tend to be good wives and better mothers. Thanks for the enlightenment and stay blessed my dear sister.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

mjose3's picture

You are right. A good mother

You are right. A good mother need not be a successful career woman. She can be both. Society needs to recognize this.


bitani's picture


Thank you Anita and mjose for your comments :)

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."
—Judy Garland

Leslie Stoupas's picture

Mothers are humans, too!

Dear Bitani,

I enjoyed reading your perspective on the rights of women to have careers of their choosing as well as the family life of their choosing. It is almost as if women are believed to lose their abilities, desires and goals when they marry and become mothers. We know this is not true and that she often needs to be present in many aspects of her life to feel fulfilled, especially if all of those aspects are of her own choosing. Thank you so much for standing up for this realisation for women everywhere!

Leslie Stoupas

Thank you for sharing your story. I agree women are peer pressured into marriage. This is a very common element in our cultures. Women also have a difficult time expressing what they want in a male dominated society. However, would her husband have supported her going to medical school? Was this an option for her after marriage? What is your vision of helping out the vision in your community? The reason I ask is because I wanted to know if a solution is possible? Do you have a strong female leader in your community that can help you break through this cycle? If so, would it be possible to use an influential individual to help women pursue and fulfill their dreams?

Kind Regards,
Bina Patel
hc Mediate, LLC

estelle's picture

Yes Bitani, i love the fact

Yes Bitani, i love the fact that u said, u can still be a mother but don't give up on ur dreams. One of my principles i use to encourage girls or women who get into marriage is that never settle that is live ur dream. that was nice

bitani's picture


Leslie, Bina, and Estelle: thanks for passing by my piece.

Bina, concerning your questions, of course there are many possible solutions. If i don't believe there is, I wouldn't have adopted this as my cause at first.

warmest regards,


"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."
—Judy Garland

SallyB's picture

Youth bulge

Hi Bitani,

You make some good point about the conflict between being a mother and a career woman. This is something that I think we see in the US too although to a lesser extent. I'm particularly interested in your assertion that the youth bulge "indirectly preserves the social system that marginalizes the females". How is that?


bitani's picture

Dear Sally, thanks for your

Dear Sally,

thanks for your comment.

I think the youth bulge is correlated with the status of women. For instance, given the rejection of premarital sex due to religious and cultural reasons, many of both males and females get married at an early age. that's why it is very important to change certain attitudes about marriage and the role of female in the society. If a wife is a successful employee, her husband should be proud of that.

also, there are kinds of strange marriages popping out (like mutaa and misyar and misyaf etc.), which are unfair to females, and in many cases actually are euphemisms. many females are accepting such marriages so as not to stay single, especially that if a female is not married that is a big issue here and she is perceived as desperate no matter how successful she is!

it's really a big topic and am trying just to give some general points here.

thanks again for passing by.



"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."
—Judy Garland

Usha RS's picture

Proud to stand with you

Dearest Bayan,
Education for girls and women's rights to fully express their gifts in the world are issues close to my heart - whether women choose to be stay at home mothers or be in the workplace. I see that we have been connected for a purpose greater than ourselves.
In solidarity,
Usha .

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