Sunday, November 27, 2011

The social value of an education

Here is an article INDIA: Degrees replace dowries for educated classes that I came across today in University World News.  In every society, an education holds social value. For women, however, this value is not universally positive. For example, high achievement has made finding a partner tricky for black women women who wish to marry. In India, holding an esteemed degree can significantly decrease the dowry an Indian woman's family must pay. However, all this value is fully held in the women's potential since "[a]lthough Indian men seek educated partners, 94% of them prefer a partner who earns less than them."  Thus, these well-educated women will not enter the workforce--at least not with the expectation of realizing their potential and building a career. Also, wealthier families, it seems, are willing to bet that educating their daughter will lower future dowry payments. Poorer families prefer to play it safe--keeping their daughters at home while families save for the traditional dowry.

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