A Global Challenge
Nussbaum defends literacy and education for women as a crucial condition for lessening many of the problems that women face worldwide, such as abusive marriages, inadequate jobs, and poor health, which restrict women’s capacities to engage in citizenship practices. Nussbaum’s proposal extends to secondary and higher education and particularly urges the development of women’s critical faculties and imagination. At present, the commitments of poorer nations and states, as well as those of wealthy nations, their citizens, and their corporations are woefully inadequate to serve women’s needs. Female education is sometimes opposed on the grounds that it destroys non-literate cultures, which have their own values; yet such cultures may harbor misery and injustice and their norms may even be opposed by the women in the cultures. Nussbaum suggests that if governments cannot improve female education, non-governmental organizations may be able to take on the responsibility.
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