Case: Fatima, a farmer’s daughter

Categorie(s): Cases, women's role

Pak Rahman is a farmer who lives in a remote village. He has a daughter named Fatima. She is a very clever girl. She helps her parents everyday in the garden. She is 7 years old, time to go to school.
Pak Rahman has been thinking about how to get his daughter to school. Their home is far away from the school.

There is no transportation there. Some older relatives say that it is not necessary to send a girl to school, but Fatima’s parents want to give her a good education.

This lesson is also available in Indonesian (Fatima: bilingual version)


  1. What should Pak Rahman say to his relatives to make clear that Fatima must go to school?
  2. If Pak Rahman is not able to pay for the school, because the school is far away from his place, how could he get the funding?
  3. If Fatima does not like to live separate from her parents if she goes to school, how should the parents explain to her that it is important?
  4. Girls getting a good education can play an important role in their community to make life healthier and bring more welfare. Their children are healthier and have a better chance to grow up. Why it that?
  5. Educated women are good for their community (family, village, region) Find examples of women who made live in the village (region) better for many people, and who could do this because they had been to school.
  6. Interview one (or more) of these women and ask why their education has been important to them
  7. “Sustainable development can only succeed when all children get a chance to go to school.”
    Discuss this and collect arguments for this statement.
  8. Education for girls is an important aspect of sustainable development . Make a poster with this text – or write a song, or make a play, to make this clear to people around you.

Background information:

Imbalance education between women and men.

In this modern world there is still discrimination in education level between boys and girls especially outside the cities. Many parents think that boys have more ability to take on education and will carry more responsibility later in life, while girls probably only became housewife, even if they have had an education.
On the other hand there are many people who do not realize about family planning. Families have many children and not much money. Having many children and limited resources make many parents give more priority to education for boys than for girls.
But girls should have the same right as boys to a good education! Mothers have as much responsibility as fathers. Well educated women give their children a better chance!

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More information about the need for girls going to school you can find on these websites:




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Often women’s work is seen as less important, but slowly there are signs shiowing that officials start stressing the value of women’s work. Read the news item about women’ role in fighint desertification.
One of the good examples showing that sustainable development is only possible when the work of women and girls is taken seriously!
Suggested by: Ali Alatas, Basri, Andi Basniani, Mariati, Jumriati
(from South Sulavesi), and Nurhayati, Nasionah, Nur Azizah, Yuliana, St Nurbayani
from Lombok (all from Indonesia, May 2005)