THE STUDY’S BACKGROUND
For several decades, women’s education has been recognized as a fundamental human right and a development necessity. Education not only provides women with basic knowledge and skills to improve their health and livelihood, but it also empowers them to take their rightful place in society and the development process. Women gain the status and confidence to influence household decisions as a result of their education. Women’s education is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Between the early 1970s and the early 1980s, Nigerian society experienced growth in terms of social, economic, and educational development. Because of industrialization, education, the influence of electronic media, and exposure to foreign cultures, there has been a greater movement away from traditional ways of life.
In the traditional setting, the Nigerian woman was raised from childhood in ways that would prepare her for marriage and help her settle down to a successful marriage. She was taught the various roles she would play as a woman, such as housekeeping, motherhood, and maintaining good relationships with her husband and in-law. To be able to play these roles successfully, she was taught the art of patience and submissiveness to her husband.
Traditionally, parents were content with a female child fulfilling only the roles of wife and mother, as dictated by Nigerian culture. Parents today recognize that their female children achieve honorable positions in society and marry men of high social standing. They see education and exposure to other cultures as ways to achieve these goals.
The Nigerian female child is sent to school at a young age, and she is initially placed in the same compound as them for class grades and marks. She learns to regard men as equals because they do not appear to be smarter than she is.
The Nigerian female child is exposed to Western cultures with values that are quite different from those of Africa, and as a result, the Nigerian woman is gradually transitioning from the patient and submissive person she used to be, willing to limit her life to the narrow boarders of the environment in which she had been born and bred, to a more assertive person, competing with men in terms of educational attainment and positions in the world of work.
In Nigerian society, if a woman reaches a certain age and educational level and has not yet married, she is frowned upon and regarded as a frustrated and unfulfilled individual.
As a result, it is unusual for Nigerian parents to be overly concerned about their children’s marriages and marital success. Because of this fear, some parents will arrange meetings between their daughters and members of the opposite sex, with the goal of eventually matching them in marriage.
In order to ensure the success of their children’s marriages, well-to-do parents sometimes provide facilities for the young couple to make them feel at ease in their new home. They also make it mandatory to inquire from time to time about any problems that may arise from the marriage in order to assist in the resolution of such problems.
In Nigerian culture, the man’s role is that of master and controller of the home. He wants to keep playing this role all the time and does not want to be in a situation that will make him look weak.
Some men are tired of marrying women with higher education. Men in this group will argue that it will be easier for them to exert control over women who have only a high school diploma or do not attend school at all, regardless of their own educational background. This is due to the belief that such will not see them as equals and will thus treat them with enough respect, allowing them to play their roles as expected by culture as the master of the home.
The man may quickly realize that what he needs for a successful marriage is not supremacy but complete submissiveness from the wife. A graduate who marries a primary school certificate holder will quickly realize that their varying social statuses will create a gap between himself and the wife, especially if they are related to other people from their varying social groups with varying societal values that cannot match. This would be a source of contention and, possibly, the end of their marriage.
It may be assumed that such a gap can be bridged over time as the couple grows to understand themselves better. A woman with a primary school diploma who did not bother to learn how to relate to people in her graduate husband’s social class will learn more about her husband and what is expected of her in her marriage if she is to succeed, and the same is true for the man.
Some men believe that because they have been exposed to higher education, they will be more compatible with women who are also well educated. They believe they will be able to effectively communicate with and be understood by such women.
These men are also experiencing marital adjustment issues. Their wives are rarely at home due to the demands of jobs that take as much time as their husbands’. This causes the man to feel neglected and uncared for, as he is usually left to the mercy of housekeepers who take the place of their wives at home.
The man may develop feelings of inadequacy, especially if the wife works with men who are more successful than himself, and infidelity is frequently suspected due to the wife’s sense of dressing and sophistication, which can lead to marital failure. In some cases, women outperform their husbands in terms of educational attainment. Men who have amassed wealth without adequate education may wish for their wives to obtain more education than themselves in order to become assets in the running of the family’s business and to provide some level of prestige to her husband and family.
When a man has a lower educational qualification than his wife and a lower financial standing, he may develop feelings of resentment, jealousy, and inability to control their household, especially if the man did not approve of such educational attainment. The situation may cause friction and, ultimately, the breakdown of the marriage.
Marriage is regarded as extremely important in a person’s life. In modern times, education can be viewed as one of the steps a woman must take before marrying.
The acquisition of a good education results in the acquisition of honorable positions in society, good jobs, and increased financial standing, allowing a woman to assist her husband in alleviating financial problems in their home.
Education on the part of a woman can also work against her marital success, especially if her level of education differs from that of her spouse.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Many factors work against marriage stability, and the educational attainment of the participants may play a significant role.
A higher level of education would have been seen as an added asset by women, but they have their own varying preferences regarding the level of education their spouse should possess. These preferences are expectations they believe will lead to their marriage’s stability.
While some men with higher degrees prefer women who are uneducated or have only a secondary certificate, others in this category prefer women who have a university degree or higher. Some men with little or no education are dissatisfied with women in their category and would prefer women with higher university degrees, even going so far as to sponsor their wives to achieve such educational heights.
It is assumed that a woman’s level of education is very important in consideration when a man makes a marital choice.
The goal of this study is to discover the relationship between marital success and education level among women.
THE STUDY’S IMPORTANCE
The study’s findings will be useful to both married men and women, as well as prospective couples.
1. Married men will be exposed to the impact of women’s varying levels of education and how, when compared to their educational background, this can lead to marital success or failure.
2. They will thus be able to make decisions about the marital adjustments they will make in relation to their spouses’ educational level in order to maintain a stable marriage.
3. Married women will benefit from the findings of this study because they will be exposed to the relationship between their level of education and marital success. The needs of their spouses will be brought to light, and they will be able to make decisions about how they can assist their spouses in meeting these needs and achieving marital success.
4. Because parents actively participate in their children’s upbringing and educational attainment decisions, the findings of this study will help them provide adequate guidance to their children in terms of educational attainment and marital success.
5. Guidance counsellors will find the findings useful in counseling individuals who have marital adjustment problems that are related to education. This will eventually aid them in improving the quality of marriage in society. The findings of this study will serve as a foundation for future research on marital adjustment and, more importantly, will contribute to the general acquisition of knowledge.
QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
The following research questions were formulated in response to the problem statement:
1. Does the level of education of women affect their attitude toward their husbands?
2. Does education cause women to lose sight of their responsibilities as wives?
3. Does education improve marital success?
4. Does education force women to spend time at home doing housework?
5. Is it proper for a woman to be more educated than her husband?
THE STUDY’S OBJECTIVE
The study focuses solely on educating women. This is done to minimize the unreliability and invalidity of information likely to be obtained from an oral interview, which is the only feasible method of gathering information from illiterate women. The study’s scope is limited to the Oredo local government area of Edo state because it includes Benin City, a cosmopolitan city and a university town where a true representative of Nigerian women can be obtained.
Education is the process of teaching, training, and learning that takes place in schools or colleges to improve knowledge and skills.
Marriage is the legal relationship that exists between a husband and a wife.
Marital: This refers to a married relationship or the relationship between a husband and a wife.
Success is defined as achieving something that you desired and worked hard to achieve.
Relationship: The manner in which two people, groups, or countries treat or interact with one another.
Culture refers to a country’s or group’s customs and beliefs, arts, way of life, and social organization.
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