Myanmar girl using digital tablet pc

Myanmar girl using digital tablet pc

There are several movements calling for gender equality. However, it is sad to note that not all parts of the world experience it. There are still certain aspects in which women lag behind men. One of these aspects is a basic right: education.

Southeast Asian countries have worked hard to promote equality in education between men and women. Countries like the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia are among the countries with the closest men to women literacy ratio. Sadly, the same thing cannot be said for Laos and Cambodia. Those from the countryside and ethnic groups do not have access to education at all. In vietnam, there is a significant difference between the numbers of girls having access to higher education with that of boys. Even in a more economically stable country like Thailand, there are also a lot of women that do not pursue higher education, especially those in far flung provinces.


In many regions in Southeast Asian countries, a popular belief still exists that only men should be given the right to education since they are the ones who provide for the family. Women who live in the countryside are deemed as house helpers and must only serve their husband and children.

Poverty is a major stumbling block. In the countryside of Laos and Cambodia, people rely on farming for livelihood. Most of them can barely make ends meet. A lot of families do not have access to electricity and drinking water. It is, therefore, not surprising when many people from developed countries conclude that in some Southeast countries, education is not a priority for women.

In other regions in Southeast Asia, women are not treated with a great deal of respect compared to men. It goes back again to the notion that women are inferior to men. This might sound like an ancient issue, but it still exists in some places.


The inequality in access to education must come to an end. Women deserve to be educated as much as men do. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • lower Children and Maternal Mortality Rates. If educated, women will know how to take care of their babies or of themselves during pregnancy. They will also know how to avoid contacting sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) and run the risk of passing it to their children.
  • Women need higher wages. There are a lot of women who are now breadwinners. They can become excellent providers if they have a job that pays well to sustain their needs. This can only happen if they are well-educated.
  • Sustain access to quality education. According to studies, women are most likely to spend their family budget on education above everything else. This will assure that children of the next generations will prioritize education.

Hopefully, the Southeast Asian countries that lag behind in terms of equality in education will be able to make the necessary changes in the near future.

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