Educated Mothers, Prosperous Nations

An analysis of the linkage between educated mothers and prosperity of nations as an essential component for sustainable development of Pakistan.

Our children are our assets; they have a key role in ensuring a prosperous future for our country. It is for this reason that for a promising tomorrow we have to start contributing in quality upbringing of our children today. For our society to evolve, we need to have mobilized and engaged individuals as a part of the society — a goal that can be achieved only when we understand and work towards providing them the required training and awareness that is possible with quality education, particularly of mothers who are the prime bearers of this responsibility. It is rightly said that when you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation. I believe it is time we realize the connection between educated mothers and prosperous nations and make sure we do not find ourselves lacking in this key ingredient of growth.
Let us start why realizing the importance of equal educational opportunities for women. While an uneducated mother can barely facilitate her child with basic survival necessities, an educated mother will nourish her child in a healthier manner, will be better able to satisfy the queries of a young curious, absorbent mind, and train them to be able to achieve important milestones by giving them a head start thanks to her own education! A mother is the biggest influencer in a child’s life. In the formative years, mothers provide children with love and care along with providing crucial guidance in terms of morals and values that is critical in shaping their personalities and life outcomes. Therefore, a mother’s education, economic strength and success have a direct impact on what kind of individuals her children will grow up to be.
Education of the girl child is a priority globally. The developed part of the world recognized the importance of educated women long ago: “Give me an educated mother, I shall promise you the birth of a civilized, educated nation", stated Napoléon Bonaparte in the 18th Century. Whereas in our country, unfortunately, even in the 21st century, we are struggling with issues of patriarchy and gender-biased norms that are a major hindrance in increasing the ratio of a literate female population.
Without a doubt, an educated woman is an asset to the society and the country as she maintains a healthier household, strong community and paves the way of the nation out of illiteracy and poverty. Researches prove that educated women prove to be an essential resource for the country as they get better employment opportunities to earn and contribute to the family income, maintain a healthy lifestyle and when they become mothers, are able to facilitate them in terms of better healthcare and education. Sounds like it also serves as a solution to poverty and rapid population increase.
Belonging to the developing part of the world, one of our major crises is providing equal and quality education to our children. Education is most definitely a pivotal aspect of women’s empowerment as it equips them with the required knowledge to foster a generation that has the capacity to bring about social change and eventually elevate a society.
Surely, you can provide education to children through schools but they are able to grasp knowledge better when they see a reflection of it in their mother’s personality and that is only possible if the mother is educated. It is only when we educate a woman that she becomes able to expand her child’s academic horizons by modelling the right behaviour and establishing social connections that further educational success.
Psychological researches have proved that children who are raised by educated mothers develop better cognitive skills. That is an interesting conclusion as children with better cognitive skills achieve more and thus become better citizens. Educated mothers, even if they belong to the less privileged strata, are able to engage their children in quality home schooling and early years scaffolding.
However, understanding the role of education in a child’s life and its connection with an educated mother is not the only reason we should have to provide women with their rights to education; education is amongst the fundamental rights of every individual of our society. So, women have the right to acquire quality education, possess the right to make their life and career choices and, therefore, to become better assets for our society. This should not come across as a favour to women but should be perceived as their right. It is only when a mother herself has been through different experiences in life that she may be better able to understand her children’s needs and be able to provide them with the kind of training that can prove to be a stepping stone for them to flourish.
Diving deeper into the role of educated mothers having a bigger impact not only on a societal and national level but also on a global level, I would want to shed some light on our crises and their solutions revolving around educated mothers. Starting with immunization, we witness that masses in our population believe the various myths related to vaccinations. So how do we make a mother believe the importance of immunization in her child’s early years? We educate her about it! In this way, we shall increase the ratio of healthy children. An educated mother will understand her child’s health and nutrition needs and we will be able to help decrease child mortality rate in our country. To overcome the challenge of malnutrition, we must educate a mother regarding her own and her child’s healthcare needs. Likewise, gender discrimination prevailing in our society impacts a woman’s pursuit of education, opportunity and mobility, nutritional status and makes them more exposed to child marriages, child labour and sexual exploitation. It is when you educate a woman, she understand her need to be a mobilized individual, an educated and responsible citizen and when she becomes a mother, she knows her health and nutritional importance and its impact on her children and becomes able to protect them from any sort of exploitation.

Ever wonder what will happen if we start recognizing the importance and contributions of an educated mother to a society? We must not underestimate the multiple roles women play in our lives as mothers and teachers along with their absolute capabilities of multi-tasking and networking abilities. Women are able to better connect with people and they tend to be more empathetic in virtue of their nurturing nature. With these strengths and if given the chance to possess quality education, women can definitely become agents of change for improving socio-economic circumstances of our society. This means that an educated mother is not only a driving force of her family but can also massively impact societies by working for the betterment of communities. 
If we start believing in educating women, we shall see educated mothers as a part of our society, which will have a massive impact on lowering population growth, decreased infant mortality, raising our socio-economic status, increasing family income, betterment in health of children and families, and improving learning. These are characteristics of a successful society and all these factors eventually contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for a prosperous nation. Considering the national interest, governmental policies and framework along with responsible citizenship will help Pakistan achieve its international commitments regarding the SDGs. HH

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