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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Issue 3. 15th March [1976]

Education - Propping the System

Education - Propping the System

The compulsory period for education is very short in most Asian countries for both men and women. In Thailand most children should receive four years [unclear: commplsory] [unclear: free education].

In Hongkong the ratio of male to female of those women who did marry, most only wanted about two children, and many of the women did use some method of birth control.

Both girls and boys went to school so most of the younger age group could read and write. Girls were not encouraged to continue their schooling beyond about two or three years as they were needed to work in the fields. The boys usually finished the compulsory 4 years education and were encouraged to go to secondary school if their parents could afford it.

Due to the recent clash, however, women were beginning to stand up and be counted. They expressed their views when the decision to take action against the mine was decided upon and some even took up arms. But it was still the women who were responsible for going back to cook dinner and look after the children.

The men were beginning to realise that they needed the support of women and were looking to them for guidance even though women in Mae Liang were not recognised as being as capable as men in specific areas. The men couldn't understand any Western notion of equality between men and women because to them being a man is more prestigious than being a woman.

The women were slowly breaking out of their oppressed tradition. Obviously these men (and more importantly the women) have a hard fight ahead of them, but as they said 'We have justice and greater numbers on our side. We will eventually win.'