A Journey to School: A Husband's Perspective
|Mohammed wants his daughter to become|
Mohammed isn’t like the other men in his village. To him, education is a way for women to become empowered.
“Some people think there is no use having girls educated. Usually these are people who are not educated themselves and don’t understand the importance of it, so that’s why they don’t send their wives to school,” he says.
While Mohammed openly encourages his wife Rehana to go to school, having a Non Formal Education (NFE) Center in their community made his decision much easier.
“I wouldn’t want to send my wife far off to school, but now that NFE is in our community, I feel comfortable with her getting an education,” Mohammed explains. “If the school is far off, I would have to carefully consider whether or not I would want her to attend.”
Being a father to a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl has also helped Mohammed to see the positive impact Rehana’s education will have on their children.
“Now that my children are grown up, Rehana will be able to teach them too. I am determined to provide both my children with quality education and I hope my daughter becomes a doctor and my son a lawyer,” he says.
Unfortunately, others within the community don’t think educating women is important, and Mohammed is subjected to ridicule on a daily basis.
“Often people in my community make fun of me for sending my wife to school. They don’t understand why she would go now that she is married, but I don’t care if my friends and relatives tease me about this,” he says. “It is not something that is wrong – it is compulsory for everyone and there is no age limit to education.”
While Mohammed is in the minority, he’s firmly believes that, in time, he will be able to convince his peers of the benefits of educating girls.
“It’s difficult to change the way people think. It takes time. If we visit them and talk to them and convince them regarding the importance of girl’s education, that can help,” he says. “If women remain uneducated, they will never become empowered.”