By: Carmen PuenteEdit
UTB, Brownsville, Texas
Education and the Hispanic Woman-Why is this a problem? Edit
As a member marginalized group of society fighting the effects of coloniztion, perhaps one of the most difficult things for Hispanic/Latina women is the acquisition of a well-rounded education that will enable them to compete at all levels of the capitalist society we live in. Being a Hispanic/Latina woman, education has always a heavy burden to carry for it often marks one as different from other women in the culture. This leads to further marignaliztion within the community making the attaining of an education especially challenging for women of Hispanic/Latina origin. HIspanic women are often burdened with the job of looking after younger siblings and taking the role of a pseudo-wife with the added activities of cooking, cleaning, and laundry, basically a housekeeper. Although roles are changing, women of Hispanic descent are not taking the opportunity of acquiring an education beyond high school even with the new Early College programs in many high school across the nation and specifically in the Rio Grande Valley. The Hispanic/Latino community needs a strong educational base in both genders in order to become competetive in the workforce, the global economy, and the national and international political stage. Besides the obvious issues of high school graduation and college completion with degrees beyond a bachelors, women’s education issues include health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and family planning. Without knowledge of how these issues affect them, women are often even more handicapped in the world with health issues compounding the troubles that they face both in the educational scene and the workforce. Solutions to these problems need to include the community, primarily extending educational opportunities to older women so they can become mentors to the youth, and the need for more female role models with higher degrees in the public education field.
SignificanceEditInvesting in the education of Hispanic women is essential to
the community. Having educated women will help preserve the culture through the documentation and preservation of our stories and traditions. These things are often lost because the populace is ignorant of their roots and the rich cultures they come from, so they do not resist and are vulnerable to the acculturization effects of living outside of the borders of their home country. Facilitating and encouraging all women in the community will hopefully reduce the number of teen pregnancies and help improve the health of the overall community as well as providing models for the males of the community to reach for an advanced degree. Creating an educated Hispanic community begins at home and with the women who have been safeguarding the traditions and culture from behind the scenes. Higher education will only enrich those traditions , and it is essential that itbecome an engrained tradition for Hispanics as well.