Society Solution: Women's Education
Now that everyone's back from their hols, we can return to the thorny issue of the civil unrest in London and many other major UK cities this summer. Although pundits and politicians all took time out, either by returning to the capital from their holiday destinations or writing some pithy piece, to get us to contemplate the causes of all this rioting. Over the summer much of it was about failures in general in the system but now Parliamentary committees are meeting to draw up action plans so this doesn't just remain a cerebral exercise.
There are key themes which appear from the summer's discussions: we need values and an education system which nurtures respect, leadership, care and discipline instead of greed, me-me-me, and boredom. I agree.
However, I feel passionately that there is one area which is not being addressed: women and educating them to be women.
Of course we have equal rights, but we also have a right to learn the art, science and way of being a woman. These are not taught by the cadet force, competitive sports, nor domestic science.
Iain Duncan-Smith MP, Work and Pensions Secretary in the current Government highlighted five areas which need to be addressed. Behind each one a woman is the solution.
Dysfunctional families pervade all levels of society from the top to the very, very bottom. The solution is to have a woman who is able to provide a reference point to all those involved, who is able to put her emotions aside for the well-being of her children, to teach them to respect their father, even if he has caused her pain. A man, by nature, doesn't really actually want to work: he needs to be inspired by a woman to get off his bum and go out and sweat for it - that's how you build his self-esteem. Do the girls coming out of our schools have that inspiration? Our education system is all about exams, that we agree on, but does it teach a woman how to deal with her body, hormones, and potential? Addiction and debt are likewise outlets for a lack of contentment, satisfaction and fulfillment in being comfortable as you are. Do we teach young women how to achieve that or do we just set them adrift clueless and then wonder why they don't find what they're looking for?
Unless, or until, we recognise that not only do women and men need similar standards of education but also that they need effective and appropriate education, these pundits and politicians will continue to look for causes, to blame systems, without seeing that the solution is women's education at all levels of society and age-groups.