Gender Inequity In Education Essay

4111 words - 16 pages

For years, females have been marginalized by American society. Until 1920, they could not participate fully in the so-called democratic organization of this country by way of voting, and even then, it was considered "improper" for females to be involved or interested in politics. In years past, females were discouraged from entering certain professions, as the general consensus was that jobs that required intense levels of higher training were "male-only" jobs. Similarly, the place for females was considered to be at home taking care of the children, rather than attending university or going to work. Today, however, things are different. The outlook for the future is much brighter. Females can pursue any career they choose. They are given equal opportunities as males in work and in school, aren't they? After all, as David Sadker points out in "Gender Equity: Still Knocking at the Classroom Door," Ivy League schools such as Columbia University only began to admit women around 1980, and today most college students are women (22). It would seem that there is nothing to complain about, that the battle has been fought and won, and that anyone continuing to complain should simply be brushed aside as a rampant feminist looking for some aspect of society to criticize. We've come so far as a society from those days of blatant gender discrimination, haven't we? Isn't gender inequity a thing of the past?

Well, not quite. Yes, females are given many more opportunities today than they were in past years. However, gender discrimination, in its most subtle forms, continues to this very day. Inside the classroom, particularly in grade schools, a few teachers continue their biased ways, detracting from a learning environment that encourages all students to reach their highest level of performance.

The purpose of an education is to empower individuals with the tools necessary to flourish in an ever-changing world, to allow them to dream and to enable them to accomplish their goals in life. As things stand now, females, a group constituting approximately half of our nation, are unable to achieve such ends because the educational system puts them at a disadvantage by marginalizing them and placing their needs in learning below those of males. Granted, this is not the case in every school. Many females grow to become very successful individuals and receive the luxury of having teachers who care about their education, who see all in the classroom as equally important to the learning process. However, in a growing number of schools, some form of discrimination, no matter how subtle, exists. If we want to grow as a nation, we need to address this problem and allow all to have an equal chance at success. Perhaps women in our society have it much better than in earlier generations. Perhaps they indeed are afforded more opportunities to receive an education, and a whole new world of job opportunities is open to them that had not existed previously. But by allowing...

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