BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The education of women has been recognized for several decades as a fundamental human right and a development necessity. Education not only provide basic knowledge and skills to improve health and livelihood, but it empowers women to take their rightful place in society and development process. Education gives women the status and confidence to influence household decisions. Educating women is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty.
In the Nigerian society between the early 1970s and early 1980s experienced growth in terms of social, economic and educational development. This brought about increased movement away from the traditional way of life due to industrialization, education, influence of electronic media and the exposure to foreign cultures. In the traditional setting, the Nigerian woman was brought up right from youth in ways which will get her ready for marriage and make her settle down to a successful marriage. She was taught the different roles she would play as a woman, in terms of home making, motherhood, having good relationship with her husband and in-law. She was taught the art of patie4nce and submissiveness towards her husband in order to be able to play these roles successfully.
Traditionally, parents were satisfied with a female child playing only the role of a wife and a mother as stipulated by the Nigeria culture. Today parents have realized that their female children attain positions of honour in the society and marry men of high social standing. They have seen education and exposure to other cultures as a means of achieving these objectives.
At a very early age, the Nigerian female child is sent to school where at the very beginning she is placed in the same compound with them for class grades and marks. She learns to see the male as her equals as they do not seem to possess more intelligence than herself.
The Nigerian female child is exposed to Western cultures having values that are quite different from those of the Africa and hence, the Nigerian woman is gradually slufting from the patience and submissive person she used to be, who was ready to restrict her life to the narrow boarders of the environment in which she had been born and bred to a more pushful person, competing with men in terms of educational attainment and positions in the world of work.
In the Nigeria society, if a woman has obtained a particular age and educational standard and is not yet married, she is frowned at by society and seen as a frustrated and unfulfilled person.
It is therefore not usual for Nigerian parents to be overly anxious over seeing that their children are married and success at marriage. Due to this anxiety, some parents go to the extent of arranging meetings between their daughters and members of the opposite sex and eventually match-making them into marriage.
In order to make the marriage of their children successful, parents a times who are well to do, provide facilities for the young couple to make them comfortable in their new home, they also make it mandatory to enquire from time to time about the problems that could be arising from the marriage with a view to helping in solving such problems.
The role of the man in the Nigerian culture is that of the master and controller of home. He wants to maintain this role all the time and does not want a situation that will militate against it lest society sees him as a weakling.
Some men are weary of marrying women who have acquired higher education. Men in this group will contend that it will be easier for them to be able to have control over women who do not have more than a school certificate education or those who do not attend school at all, regardless of their own educational background. This is with the believe that such will not see them as equals and as such give them enough respect and thereby enabling them plat their roles as expected by the culture as the master of the home.
The man may soon realized that he requires for a successful marriage is not supremacy band absolute submissiveness by the wife. A graduate marrying a primary school certificate holder, will soon realize that their varying social status could create a gap between himself and the wife especially were related to other people belonging to their varying social groups with varying societal values that cannot match. This would be a source of conflict and possible failure of their marriage.
It may be assumed that such gap could be bridged by time when the couple must have grown to understand themselves better with time. A woman with primary school certificate who did not bother to know how to relate to people in her graduate husbands’ social class will with time learn more about her husband and what is expected of her in her marriage if she has to succeed, and this also applies to the man.
Some men, due to the exposure in higher institutions of learning believe that they will be more compatible with women who are also well educated like themselves. They believe they will be able to communicate effectively with such women and be easily understood by them.
These men also have problems related to marital adjustment. Their wives are hardly at home due to demands of jobs that are as time consuming as those of their husbands. This leads to the feelings of being neglected and uncared by the man who is usually left to the mercy of house helps who take the place of their wives at home.
The man a times develops the feeling of inadequacy especially if the wife works with men who are more successful than himself and due to the wife’s sense of dressing and sophistication, infidelity is often suspected and this can lead to marital failure. In some situations, women find themselves attaining high levels of education than their husband. Men who have acquired wealth without adequate education to back it up may want their wives to acquire more education than themselves so that they become asset in the running of the family’s business and could give some degree of prestige and to her husband and family.
When the man has a lower educational qualification than the wife and is financial standing is also lower, he may develop feeling of resentment, jealousy and incapability at being able to have a control over their household, especially if the man did not approves of such educational attainment. The situation may lead to friction and eventual breakdown of the marriage.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Marriage is considered to be very important in the life of an individual. In modern times, acquiring education can be seen as one of the preparation a woman has to make towards marriage.
The acquisition of good education brings about the acquisition of positions of honour in the society, good jobs and increased financial standing which will enable a woman to asset her husband in alleviating financial problems in their home.
The acquisition of education on the part of a woman can also militate against her marital success especially if there is disparity in her level of education and that of her spouse.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The stability of marriage has a lot of factors militating against it and the educational attainment of the participants may have a lot to do with it.
The acquisition of a higher level of education would have been seen as an added asset to women but have their own varying preferences as to the level of education spouse should possess. These preferences are expectations they feel would lead to the stability of their marriage.
While some men who possess higher degree would prefer women who are not educated at all or women with a maximum of a secondary certificate, others in this category prefer women with university d higher degree like themselves. Some men with little or no education are not content with women in their category but would prefer women who have attained higher university degree and would even go to the extent of sponsoring their wives towards achieving such educational heights.
It is assumed that the level of education of a woman is very important in consideration when a man is going to make a marital choice.
The purpose of this study is to find out the relationship between marital success and the level of education among women.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY.