The primary role of the woman is in child upbringing. Education provides women with the intellectual and emotional capacity to add value to the lives of their children and family as a whole. Education is the foundation of women’s empowerment in any given society. Apart from the mothers’ natural instinct, additional education helps them to develop the necessary skills and attitude towards maintaining the home and proper child upbringing. Islamic knowledge is the root of all the knowledge worth having because it is a guide in acquiring and utilization of all other beneficial knowledge.
The woman is the first point of call when it comes to child nutrition, health and education. Being the first school for the child, educated women are able to maintain a comprehensive basic nutritional foundation for their children, hence, the challenges of malnutrition, diseases and family life will be addressed from the home. Educational status enables women to contribute to National policies on Nutrition and health for domestic and national development.
Education enables the woman to be aware of her own needs, such that she acquires the necessary self-awareness skill required for emotional intelligence, which is the key foundation for an all-round success. Socioeconomically, she would be able to contribute to the development of her immediate community. Charity begins at home, educated women make valuable contributions to national development through education, skill acquisition and training of their children.
Educated women acquire the ideal skill for optimum health care provision. Women health providers have been reported to be better health care providers, due to their natural feminine instinct of empathy. They tend to be better social and psychological key players in the health sector. Their role in education and child upbringing has contributed immensely to some of the International Sustainable Development Goals, in the areas of attaining gender equality, zero hunger and eradication of poverty, especially at the grass roots.
Islam is a religion which has already liberated the woman. The hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) says; “seeking for knowledge is compulsory on the Muslim male and female.” It is hereby a thing of joy to see a lot of Muslim women attaining greater heights in different fields of Knowledge across the globe. The sky is not a limit. However, despite the breakthroughs as far as balancing work life and family life is concerned, there are still a lot of challenges faced by the
Muslim women. Women generally still face a lot of hindrances as far as Education is concerned. Insecurity, sexual harassments, gender inequality, high cost of education, cultural and religious factors like early marriages in some parts of the country, discrimination against hijab and niqob, to mention a few, are factors still affecting women education. Hopefully, those women who have succeeded in breaking barriers should be available to lift other women up, as much as they can. Awareness should be continuously made on how to overcome all the challenges facing women, as far as education, child upbringing and building self-confidence is concerned.
Moreover, husbands have a key role to play in making women affairs easier. Their cooperation in establishing optimum education, and family-work life balance will go a long way. They should give all the necessary support to their women, and more importantly, believe in them. The government should establish profound educational policies that will enable women to thrive in their educational career, business, health and domestic affairs. More women educational networks should be established and sustained.
Women are usually at the receiving end of most economic and domestic crises, therefore, more mental health supports, educational scholarships, research grants, financial aid and business supports should be given to women to motivate them.
Psychologically and emotionally balanced women will raise better children who will become key stake holders in the community. Hence, the role of Muslim women in education and child upbringing is a life-long engagement, and a very essential future prospect worthy of our attention and effort. With all hands on deck, the world will surely be a better place for us all to live and appreciate, in sha Allah. May Allah ease the affairs of all Muslimah and make Jannat-l-Firdaus a final abode for us and our family, Aamin.
Written by: Dr. Mrs. Mulkah Olufemi Ajagun-Ogunleye (Assistant P.R.O., FOMWAN Lagos Chapter).