Gender Gender

Woman: Student, wife, worker, mother

Gender Focus with JUDITH KONAYUMA
SCHOOL is an activity which one should do for their own good. If it cannot be done at a younger age, the demands of life can dictate that it be done in a stage later.
The increase in institutions offering distance education has created more chances for continued education, and both young and older people are making use of the opportunity.
Women of all ages have not been left behind and even older ones are part of the students.
The desire to improve oneself is partly driven by the fact that universities and colleges offer various programmes to meet the various labour demands in our fast-changing socio-economic environment.
So, with the availability of such educational opportunities, only those who may be disabled by economic factors or other factors can bear the excuse to shy away, though when given an opportunity, some of them would gladly jump to it.
For those who are already in the work or office environment, the opportunities for career progression and better job prospects that come their way make them seek the services of these educational institutions.
Of course, everyone wants to have better qualifications to have a better job wherever they work.
So for those who are somehow deficient, it is back to the classroom.
For women who decide to utilise the chance they have now, this opportunity comes at great cost to them, both financially and socially.
Here, I am talking about a woman who has a family, leaves home to work and she adds studies to all this,
Even if a woman does not have a full-time job, her work at home is a load.
A number of women who have gone through this can testify that it is not an easy task, but it is doable and this can be seen from the many women who make part of the graduating students every year in colleges and universities.
And why should they not get back to the classroom if they have what it takes to excel in their studies.
Society also needs them to contribute to its well-being.
It should be motivation for more women that those who have enrolled for studies in most of these universities are excelling in their schoolwork and soldiering on despite the odds they may face in their daily lives.
The women have to make do with the time they have now so that they can add before their names better academic titles.
But before they get there, it is a matter of juggling between their roles at home and the office, especially those who are married.
Sometimes, in the course of her studies, it happens that a woman becomes a mother again. A number of women persevere until they deliver.
The coming of a new member to the family is not a distraction from their studies.
The urge to get back to school for most women comes with a realisation that they have to improve their academic qualifications to get better job prospects or to be ready for any future openings that might pop up in their work environment.
There is also a realisation that the younger people who are being engaged in employment may have higher qualifications and anyone who has worked for a longer period wants to be in a better position on a company’s ladder. A better education is the answer.
In most families, children are encouraged by the qualifications their parents have to aspire for higher qualifications.
A woman who has a better qualification, like a man or a father, will definitely speak with authority when she is encouraging her children to work harder in school.
She will set the bar higher for her children and make them aspire to be like her or even better. She is a better example to her children.
A woman who is studying for a better qualification will in a way add to the family’s accolades.
There are some women who have graduated with flying colours. At her age, it matters so much that she wants to make the most of her time and do her best to pass her studies.
For women who work, passing their courses comes in the midst of their work and the house chores they do after work. So they have to allocate time for studies and so life is not plain sailing for them.
Women who juggle their responsibilities like this should be given support by their husbands and other family members because they already have a lot on their plate.
Any support by the family members, especially from a husband, eases their challenges and makes their educational experience better.
The fact that a woman works and adds an extra engagement like school robs her of some of her time to be with her family for most of the time she will be studying.
It is not easy but school has to be done.
For comments: jkonayuma@daily-mail.co.zm

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