Ethics & Religion
December 28, 2016
Christianity Gives Women Equal Opportunity
By Mike McManus
Women have little educational opportunity in most parts of the world -
except Christian countries where women usually do as well or even better
Hindu women on average have only 4.2 years of education, while Hindu men
had 6.9 years of schooling, according to a new study by the Pew Research
Center. (There are a billion Hindus out of a world population of 7.5
Muslim women do not fare much better, with only 4.9 years of education
vs. 6.4 years for Muslim men. (There are 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide.)
Buddhist women get better educated - 7.4 years compared to 8.5 years for
However, Christian women across the world have almost the same
educational achievement as men: 9.1 years of formal education compared
to 9.5 for men. Those educational levels were surprisingly low to me.
However, there are hundreds of millions of Christians in sub-Sahara
Africa and the Asia-Pacific where educational levels are lower for all
Some 2.2 billion of the world's people are Christian - far more than any
other faith. Yet, on average they enjoyed 3.7 more years of education
than either Muslims or Hindus.
Why? Credit must be given to Christian missionaries who left the comfort
of their homes in Western countries - and reached out to share their
faith and commitment to education across Africa and Asia.
However, the world's Jews have by far the highest education levels - an
average of 13.4 years. Thus, the average Jew has had some college
education. And the achievement level of Jewish women is equal to that of
the men - 13.4 years.
What is of particular concern is that hundreds of millions of the
world's people have never attended school. About one in five adults
globally - but twice as many Muslims and Hindus - have had no education
at all. Four in ten Hindus (41%) have not been schooled nor have a third
The good news is that more are getting educated. While only 43% of
Hindus aged 55-74 have had some formal schooling, the figure rises to
71% among youngest adults, aged 25-34.
The situation is similar among Muslims. Only 46% of the oldest Muslims
had some education, but 72% of the youngest adults have attended school.
Yet nearly three in 10 of even young Muslims and Hindus are not being
According to the Census, only 11.6% of Americans aged 25 or older have
not earned a high school degree. Some 29% have a high school diploma and
another quarter have attended college - nearly half of whom have earned
an AA degree.
Another 43.5 million American have earned a college degree, which is a
fifth of the population. What's most remarkable, another 25 million
Americans have earned a Masters or higher level of degree. That's 12% of
Americans, more than those who don't have a high school diploma!
What about American women compared to the men? Many slightly exceed the
educational achievements of men! Some 26% of women have some college
education or an AA degree vs. 25.3% of men. And 20.6% of American women
have a college degree - slightly more than the 20.3% of men. What about
advanced degrees? The genders are tied, with 12% of both men and women
earning a Masters, a Doctorate or a professional degree.
Why do Christians and Jews have much higher levels of education than the
other peoples of the world?
At the heart of both faiths is a deep belief that God loves each
individual - and wants each person to grow to his or her fullest
potential. Isaiah wrote, "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their
strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not
grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40: 29-31).
Paul writes: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does
not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It
is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not
delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always
trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" I Corinthians 13: 4-7)
Paul also states, "There is neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male
nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
Thus, Christianity teaches that women are as important as men - and they
Their achievement is one major reason Christian civilizations have
achieved far more
than cultures of other faiths.
Copyright (c) 2016 Michel J. McManus,
President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous
columns go to
Search for any topic.
30+ Years / 1700+ Columns
2017: Column 1860: Cohabitation: A Growing Problem - Part I
Texting While Driving - A Killer
Why Have "Religious Nones" Tripled?
Norma McCorvey Roe of Roe v. Wade
The Worst Valentine: Cohabitation
Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
Christianity Gives Women Equal Opportunity
Sextortion Kills Teens
Assisted Suicide Is Growing
same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,