Why All Girls Need An Education
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"I want to travel the world."
"Really, so do l."
The prospect of meeting new people, eating new food, and exploring brought a smile to both of our faces, but while mine looked excited hers looked hopeful tinged with sadness. An air of mystery surrounded her whole figure, but her hypnotizing eyes were hooded with mysteriousness.
"What do you want to be?"
"A doctor," she spoke in her native language.
"Oh cool, what grade are you in?" I said in my broken Urdu.
"Come down Isha," my mom's voice streamed all the way up to the rooftop overlooking the small crowded city located in Pakistan.
"Okay," resonated along the four parapets.
After some quick investigation, I discovered the girl I had met worked for my aunt and her family. That was child labor. She was forced to be subjugated to this life. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. All sorts of questions ran through my 12-year-old brain, but the one question that bothered me the most was how in the world did she get the time to go to school?
I now know the answer to my unanswered question. The harsh reality came crashing down and left sadness and confusion in the pit of my stomach. She didn't go to school. Her family could not afford it, but the major reason was because she was a girl. Her parents thought it was better to send their sons to school over her. According to her parents, a female's role in society was to stay at home and take care of the household. Think about it. What if you were confined to your home? What if you weren't allowed the chance to read or write? What if all your dreams and aspirations couldn't be fulfilled because your society doesn't allow you to do something? What if you weren't allowed to fight for what you believed in because of the fear of getting killed? It would probably suck. Well that is what more than 37 million girls all over the world face and they can't even do anything about.
They say girls don't deserve an education because what's the point of paying all this money for them to get an education only for them to stay home to take care and build a home because that's their role and it has always been. They say they can't get an education because then they'll start rebelling against their families.
I say that is all nonsense. This is why we still have gender equality issues in the world especially in places like Pakistan, because there are less women being educated causing less people to be aware of the consequences of not sending girls to school. People don't want women to have a voice in society, to speak up for themselves, to make their own decisions because they are afraid of what they can do. They are afraid of the power and abilities of women, but it's their loss. They are keeping our world from becoming a much better place because they are frightened.
The little girl's parents kept her from fulfilling her dreams, kept her from achieving something, kept her from living, changing her life or someone else's. The saddest part is that she can't travel the world because she's tied down to her house as a slave. She would have made a great doctor and who knows maybe she could have found some groundbreaking research. We will never find out. Unfortunately, millions of girls like her are born to families that have the same mindset and prevent their daughters from getting an education.
Education is not a freedom, it's a right that every single human being should be able to receive so they can make choices for the life they want to live and not what someone else wants for them. No one has the right to dictate someone else's life. Our society can't progress until we address this crucial issue. We can't sit back and allow this to happen. We must put a stop this. We must stop girls and women from being subjugated to this lifestyle. We have to stop those little girls like her from having their wings clipped; wings that will enable them to have a bright future and achieve greatness.