THE IMPACT OF WOMEN LITERACY EDUCATION ON THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
The impact of women literacy education on the empowerment of women can not be over emphasized. In Nigeria, as in most developing countries of the world, literacy education is valued so much that it is looked upon as a pre-requisite for all the short-comings of society as well as the surest means for empowering women and for national development.
Women literacy education is that education given to female children or women at different stages and ways (formal and non-formal). It is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities to become effective participant of a given social group. Women literacy education is the process that brings about self esteem which helps in promoting participation of women in organizations and their community that reflect in the society at large.
In reference to education therefore, the new National Policy states categorically that: The Federal Government of Nigeria has adopted education as an instrument per excellence for effecting women empowerment and national development. Education fosters the worth and development of the individual, for each individual’s sake and for the general development of the society. The document emphasizes that every Nigerian child shall have a right to equal educational opportunities irrespective of any real or imagined disabilities each according to his or her ability.
Consequently, education has been pursued with vigour in most parts of Nigeria. It is seen as the factor whose acquisition raises one’s income as well as the social status and progress in the society.
In the past, education especially boy’s education was a sort of life assurance. Girls’ education was neglected because cultural and biological factors limited their access to education. Women’s roles were to procreate and lactate. Women had no say in any community or national development as they were believed to be the weaker-sex. This phenomenon is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is common to other parts of the world. Women have always had less access to educational opportunities than men. The reasons being that women were believed to be birds of passages who will eventually be married to other families after their training. This is why in places such as India, cousins are allowed to marry so that their wealth will be retained within their families.