Modern consumption is achievable and affordable post-school

The 3rd assumption of the sequential model says “Modern consumption is achievable and affordable post-school – once achieved, education will resource young women sufficiently enough for them to be able to access and consume the luxuries of modern life.” 

Growing up in today’s world influences most people to want luxurious things, even those that have no interest in dating. With the exposure of social networks making the world so much smaller, and a lot not being what it seems, there’s a compounding of pressure. Girls and young women are exposed to and adapting to various sociocultural stimuli in today’s global world and to expect no influence is denial. So assuming that a young woman had access to education and was successful in completion; is there any guarantee that she will get a job? The perception that school is the only way to be deemed useful or valuable is disturbing; particularly for girls and young women that don’t get the opportunity or choice, or those that get married or fall pregnant before completing school and aren’t able to continue or juggle it all. Does this mean there is next to no guarantee that they will get a good and secure job without an education? And who’s to say they can’t continue their education at a later stage? I am all for education and I wouldn’t discourage taking advantage of an opportunity to complete school and a tertiary qualification. Schooling should be normalised and accommodative to young girls and women from all kinds of backgrounds; no matter their story. For those who are unable to complete their education, society should not rule out their contribution in other ways.

The assumption that one gets an education simply to position themselves to access and consume the luxuries of modern life is false; also these luxuries mean different things for different people. Just as false is the assumption that getting an education will result in a job, and a job that will afford you modern luxuries at that. South Africa’s unemployment rate alone should say that much – it’s a dire reality. The education system needs to provide an effective and sufficient bridge to a career path; tangible and transferable skills, and linkage to industry and potential employers should form part of the curriculum. Women need to avail themselves to mentor young girls because a lot of girls are hungry for positive female figures to help pass on invaluable skills, knowledge and abilities. I thought I’d mention that some women seem to perceive mentoring to be spoon feeding, stemming from of an attitude that develops around having had to struggle alone to get to where they are, they become territorial. This does not help anyone or anything; instead it leaves us stuck in a vicious cycle of marginalisation and exclusion as women; regardless of our talents. Mentored relationships are actually immensely beneficial for young women to help them navigate interpersonal aspects when it comes to marrying education with a career, to help them manoeuvre and steer from precarious situations and interactions, and to help them focus their energies and resources effectively.

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