Empowering Educated Women
From an early age, I was exposed to village women coming to my family to seek for house help jobs. They would usually come as a family; a husband and a wife, tagging with them their eldest daughter to ask my family to take their girl as our helper. My parents would usually agree. For years, I grew up with many young women in my lives; they comb my hair after my bath, press my uniforms, bring me to school and guarantee that I eat my home made snacks in school.
When they reach a certain length of stay in our family, my parents enroll them in the nearest public grade school where they can complete their elementary schooling on weekends. I remember the times when I tutor them in their assignments since I have more advanced lessons and can read and write english pretty well. Some graduated with distinction, others dropped due to early pregnancy. And all these years I have known them and accepted them as my own family.
I have realized that these women go great lengths to pursue education. And poverty remains to be the single factor that deprives them to do so. Those women who graduated in primary schools did so because my family was able to enroll them and assure them of an education that they can take pride of. After completing school, they have higher chances to get higher paying jobs or work in supermarkets or in government related jobs.
My parents, who has been in the government service for more than a decade, try hard to find contractual positions for them, some as laborers, some as secretaries or assistants, until they can stand on their own feet and get a permanent jobs after years of continued service.
I have seen the immense empowerment and the changed lives of these women. They come back to my family after many years, now with their own children. They would usually tease me if I can still remember their names, and that when I was a small kid, I was always singing and easy to play with. Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes. But always, it brings back wonderful memories of them. We have certainly let them go but they came out to be empowered and educated women, ready to pass on that wisdom to their children as well.