Women At The Forefront Of Education

Parsis are known as the fore runners in the field of education. What distinguishes us further is the large number of Parsi women at the helm of innumerable educational institutes, contributing to shaping our gen-next into becoming a strong and confident youth. On the occasion of International Women’s Day (March 8th, 2017), Parsi Times Special Correspondent Delaveen Tarapore speaks to women of mettle who continue to play a major and effective role as educational visionaries.


Diana Marfatia (Principal Bai Avabai Petit Girls’ High School):

“Women are the real architects of society”, said Harriet Beecher Stow, and since, as we all know, that the citizens of tomorrow and ‘real’ human beings are being moulded and made in the classroom, I feel privileged to be a ‘Woman’ leading an educational institution of such repute and standing, only for girls and young ladies. Women are intuitive and compassionate in their dealings with their colleagues and juniors, thus making them the right choice to sit in the captain’s seat, of any organization or institution. As aptly said by Rudyard Kipling, “A woman’s guess is much more accurate than a man’s certainty”. Do I need to say any more?!


Zarin Behram Rabadi (Principal, Bai B N Gamadia Girls’ High School):

Brilliance of female gender was but far and few before the 19th century. The transition from upliftment of womenfolk to their empowerment actually started in the 20th century, especially the second half, wherein the world experienced many great women country leaders. This empowerment would not have been possible, had there been no ‘formal education’ facilitated to a women, especially in an agrarian society like ours where might and strength are known to be required to cultivate and feed societies. Today, with the advent of industrialization, education promises equal opportunities to women, thus empowering them to shed off the tag of being a man’s shadow and stand up as an equal partner. It’s my vision that after thirteen years of education that a child undergoes from infancy to their teenage years; the value system, the will to excel and many other such takeaways from the school, will empower my girl students to face the world with dignity and confidence


Dr. Zuleika Homavazir (Head of Department of Management Studies, Wilson College):

Children and young people must take charge of their lives! You need to address your difficulties and not shirk from your responsibilities for I feel that untapped resources are limited and opportunities are scarce, you need to be determined to stretch beyond and touch the sky. I usually explain myself with suitable examples, hereby, the sky represents vast market potential and corporate life and a kite may signify knowledge and the skills you acquire during your early years of life. The thread is your limited resource which is now upon you to use as per air movement in the sky (market) depending on your competitors move. Market dynamics like wind in the sky, is unpredictable. This is not a team play but your own. As a professor, I personally work towards explaining my young adult students that if you have the skill of managing the thread on your finger tip, you will definitely touch the sky. Be Alert, Be Committed and Be Disciplined…


Perin Bagli (Principal, Activity High School):

As a female educationist I feel female leaders are extremely important to shape attitudes and ambitions of young women. When they see women in charge, placed in leadership roles, there is conscious positive re-enforcement that women can run an organisation. This helps them to change stereotypical, age-old perceptions. Not only does it give them hope, but also helps them develop strong aspirational value to achieve similar goals in life. This need not be necessarily in the field of education but stretches across all areas of life. The slightly older girls also come to terms with understanding that there are many challenges that women tend to face when it comes to work-life balance but when they can experience a real life situation seeing me take upon many responsibilities but yet not neglect my family, it gives them a closer look into the real picture. When I set this example to my young girl students then they can identify their unique talents, understand how they can contribute to the society to best enable success, and then, make sure that their voice is heard. The principal needs to be role model for the girls and boys but the girls must see her as an example they would like to follow. The principal must be seen as a strong, respectful, loving and intelligent role model.


Mackie Majra (Group Leader of Zoroastrian Bharat Guides Company):

Times have changed. Parents have started educating their children in every field of life – for sports, social service, guiding and scouting activities that have helped children to consolidate their role as professionals when they grow up into young, responsible adults. Women, irrespective of their profession, are not only empowered in their own lives, but have enriched the lives of others into being good citizens and better humans. In my 24 years of service as the group leader of the only Zoroastrian Guiding group, I have seen girls put in endless efforts not just not in academics but also in other self-liberating undertakings like camping, elocution, cooking, drawing, needlework, etc. which to me are values that make a promising woman!


Kashmira Balsara (Principal, Bengallee Girls’ High School):

I am very happy to celebrate the International Women’s Day this year with you all through The Parsi Times. Today, while many women are still living in pathetic conditions in different parts of the world, you and I are privileged to be living in a gender-equal, modern society in this great country. From this vantage point, we should understand that a wise woman has the power to transform the world around her. As a principal of an esteemed educational institute, I resolve to do what I can to equip, empower and embolden all my students to use their wisdom and educated them to change not only their lives but also of those around her. Happy Women’s Day!


Lanavaz Cooper (Head of popular Coaching Class, ‘La Tutorials’):

There is no greater achievement than living with a sense of absolute independence; there is no greater facilitator than education to empower you with just that; and there is no greater satisfaction than knowing that you have played a vital role in educating young minds to realize their true potential and empowered them to become independent and successful, not just as students, but as young adults. More than ever, the woman of today has become a symbol of equality and independence, and it is my undertaking as a woman, and moreso as an educator for over 25 years, to equip my students with more than just great academic scores because true education is not about just preparing for good grades in exams or well-paying jobs, it is the ability to grow into a better and richer human being through learning. And I’m gratified that my students deliver on that! I wish all PT readers a Very Happy International Woman’s Day!

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