In general, we all agree how important education is in empowering a woman. However in my opinion it is crucial for someone who suffers from a mental illness.
Lets look at it from the beginning. A girl sent to school and college would somehow gain awareness about mental health. If she suffers from an issue, she might be able to recognize it. Although it takes time to accept a fact like that, it is likely that she would connect with a psychiatrist or psychologist earlier than someone who isn't aware of anything and helplessly depends on others, by default. Perhaps because the a college student would have a future of economic freedom and would not be afraid of bearing medical expenses or being answerable to anyone.
In many cultures and societies even today, speaking about mental health, specially for women, is a taboo. Girls and women even slightly associated with having psychological problems and being on medications are treated indifferently when it gets to marriage. This is because societies even in this day and age consider mental patients equal to lunatics and disagree over the possibilities of treatment.
Marriage plays a crucial role for women in many societies, acting as their primary source of sustainable life. So even if someone is diagnosed with a problem, the matter is kept secret. They are married off quietly and left to live a life of misery. Because what else could one do? How can she depend on herself alone for basics of life when she isn't educated enough to earn a living?
Dr Anwar Raffay’s study reports that in Pakistan women lose more disability adjusted life years than men. Plus, according to www.hrw.org, larger percentage of girls than boys are out of school In Pakistan.
The two studies exactly correlate with each other.
To me it is a matter of no surprise.
Other than being educated enough to support herself, a woman hasn't any way out to escape the labyrinth of depression, anxiety and so many other problems. And while she suffers from it all, when unable to carry the burden , she grows violent. She turns into an angry person who fights anyone and everyone around her, disturbing lives of not just herself but of many others; in some cases very severely. This isn't considered the trait of good women in society! Women aren't allowed to fight, only men are. And they do so. Women who “misbehave” are dealt with harsh punishments.
From where I see it, education can save a woman from at least those scenarios mentioned above-if not all the problems in the world. It can at most let her have a choice in the matter. She can then have a back up plan for her life and not have to depend on marriage to provide for her needs. She can escape the taboo of being answerable to others and be free to live her life fully, each day at its most!