It is well known that women did not have access to education and the same opportunities as men did during this time, but there was certainly progress made. Women started to go against the “Cult of Domesticity” and feel empowered to change societal and cultural norms. Women started to press hard for education, and took advantage of many states declaring that elementary and high school education should be allowed for all. According to a study done on this topic by the National Center for Education Statistics, 120 Years of American Education:A statistical Portrait, by the year 1900, 50.5% of children aged from 5-19 were enrolled in school. Of that surprisingly, 50.9% were little girls who were deciding,, along with their mothers, to become empowered and educated. These people saw the opportunities being opened before them and decided to take them. This trend was not reciprocated however in the realm of higher education. Here women were not allowed at all costs. This was the ultimate leveler for many women and men during the area understood this. Many men couldn’t afford to get some level of higher learning so if a woman were to do so, then she would have more power and influence than him.
The great thing about these statistics is that today, women are taking advantage of every single educational opportunity they can, especially higher education. In the same study as aforementioned, there is a graph on page 65 showing the rate at which higher education enrollment has increased by sex. In the last year reported, 1991, there was a significant gap between men and women with women holding the higher number of students enrolled. The best art is that it is increasing. Today, in Gender Equity in Education according to the US Department of Education, as of June 2012, female students make up 49% of elementary and high school students. However when it come to postsecondary education, females make up a whopping 57% of the student population. This means that women are becoming and are now educated, empowered, influential people. The glass ceiling that patriarchal society tried to put on women has been broken and is continuing to do so. Women feel that they can create careers, lead people, and be able to support their own families as well, if they decide the desire to have a family at all. With the empowerment and education of women, comes the enlightenment of society and the betterment as a whole of the people.