In response to daily post’s prompt : Breakthrough
Many years ago, women did not have the opportunity to go to school, education of women was looked upon as a terrible thing. Women were supposed to stay home and look after the children and their spouse.
Child marriage was common. Girls were married off at a very young age. I met a woman, she worked in the movie hall, her job was to open and close the curtain to separate the men and women. She was married when she was 7 years old and was a widow when she was nine. She was a Hindu, therefore though she was only nine years old it was unthinkable for her to get married again, in those days these women remained a widow until death.
The breakthrough in women’s education in India came with the establishment of Bethune school, it wasn’t run efficiently but it was after this the reformers thought of establishing more schools for women. They started writing about benefits of women’s education. The important thing was the wives would be able to correspond with their husbands who lived outside home because of work.
Educated women could take care of the household accounts, instruct their children. A knowledge of hygiene would lead to healthier children.
Parsi girls were the first to be educated in Bombay( now Mumbai).
In Bengal the education of women was led by the Brahmo society.
In 1882 Dada Bhai Naoroji, known as the, ‘Grand Old Man Of India,’ wrote his views on the subject of female education: ” The time will come when natives generally will see the benefits of female education as a great necessity to rise in civilization, and to advance social happiness and progress; and will understand then that a woman had as much right to exercise and enjoy all the rights, privileges and duties of this world as man, each working towards the common good in her or his respective sphere.”