Opkomen voor gelijke rechten

Lore de Graaf studeert Pedagogische Wetenschappen aan de KU Leuven. Zij maakt zich sterk voor gelijke toegang tot onderwijs van meisjes en jongens in de hele wereld. Ze schreef er een artikel over waarin ze mensen oproept zich uit te spreken voor gelijke kansen. Dat levert niet alleen economische voordelen op maar ook persoonlijke groei. Als sekse-ongelijkheid dominant is en vanzelfsprekend, dan moeten er vraagtekens bij die vanzelfsprekendheid worden gesteld, meent Lore.

In India worden meisjes op allerlei gebied achtergesteld ten opzichte van jongens. Zeker in het onderwijs. Daarom sponsort Amaidhi de Engelstalige opleiding van meisjes op de Don Bosco School in PT Parru, daarbij geholpen door scholen en sponsorouders in Nederland.  

Het artikel:

Speak up with sensitivity: girls and boys must have the same opportunities to access schools! In many places around the world, a lot of girls are not going to school due to discrimination. This is not normal! Everyone, regardless gender, must have the same rights, must have the same level of access for going to school. It is our duty to speak up for girls across the whole world, not only for the welfare of the economy in a country, but also for their own wellbeing and welfare in a society. So when we speak up for equal access to schools for girls across the whole world, it is important to do this from the two perspectives that are mentioned above, namely economic benefits and personal benefits. Access to school for everyone is central in many policy agenda’s across the world, because of the potential economic growth in a country. When girls are going to school, they learn ‘knowledge’. By learning these ‘knowledge’ the girls, beside the boys, can contribute to the economy of a society. This means that there is more potential in a society and that increases the opportunities for economic growth. Girls and boys are seen in this perspective as boxes full of capital that can be used for economic growth. Girls are thus seen as a loss of potential capital. I am not saying that in a policy agenda economic arguments to promote equal access to schools across gender are not important. This is because living in an economic welfare society is also good for the people living in that society, thus also good for the girls. What I am saying is, that economic arguments are not the only kind of arguments for promoting equal access to schools across gender in a country. Thus equal access to schools for girls is not only important for the economic welfare of a country, it is also important for a feeling of ‘belonging’ by the girls. By stimulating girls to go to school, they learn skills that are needed to participate and act in the society. Due to this, girls are included and are seen as a free and full membership in that society. What I am telling above, is that not only economic but also personal benefits are important in the argumentation for equal access to schools across gender. What I want to do in the next part is to create a feeling of sensitivity for the power of education in the argumentation of the personal benefits. When children, thus also girls, are going to school, they are in a system of adapting to society. This is because children learn in school knowledge that is seen as needed to participate as a free and full member in the society. In other words, by educating children we choose explicitly for knowledge that we want our children to learn and other knowledge that we don’t want our children to learn. By going to school the country tries to fit children in the society by learning them this specific knowledge. In other words, in an educational system they try to make a big puzzle that is seen as the ‘good’ society, by fitting in the pieces that is seen as adapting children to the ‘good’ society. For this reason the knowledge that is given in schools, is dominant because it represents a ‘good’ society. What I am trying to say is that when we speak up for equal access to schools across gender and uses personal benefits in our argumentation, we must be aware that by sending girls to school we adapt them to a dominant society without questioning that dominant society. Because of the problem of unequal access to schools across gender in many countries of the world, it is the duty of the whole world to speak up for equal rights for boys and girls. It is not normal that due to discrimination, girls are hindered to go to school. When we speak up for equal access to schools across gender it is important to give arguments from different perspectives, namely economic and personal benefits. I have tried to create a kind of sensitivity for the power of education that adapted children to a dominant society. What I am saying is that it is important to speak up for equal access to school for both girls and boys, but we must also be aware that by sending children to school they become a piece in the dominant society. I argue that we must be sensitive and question some dominant principles, and thus we must speak up for equal access to schools across gender with sensitivity!