Pathetic condition of WOMEN EDUCATION in India
India is considered as one of the world greatest democracies and has also surpassed China as the world’s fastest growing economy in the financial quarter of October-December 2018; an achievement only made possible through ensuring education for all and gender equality. Promoting women education and ensuring female literacy have been the major factors behind India’s success. The statistics reveal an unprecedented growth in development and women education in the past few decades- India is progressing fast towards her never seen before socio economic development as more and more Indian women are becoming part of its economy; through, their education and empowerment.
Current Status of Women Education in India (with Statistics)
The national female literacy rate when India gained independence was tragically low at 8.6%. Women, who were allowed to take part in freedom struggle, were now confined to the houses, leading to the formation of a male dominated patriarchal society. The female literacy rate of India has increased from 8.6% in 1951 to 64.63%, according to 2011 census. Though, this increase in the female literacy rate is encouraging and promising as well; unfortunately, there is also a flip side to it.
The current female literacy rate of India lags behind the male literacy rate, the former at 65.6% and the latter at 81.3%. The female education rate of India at 65.6% is significantly lower than the world average at 79.7%. The situation is more critical in rural areas, where fewer girls go to schools as compared to boys and the number of dropout rate is alarming among girls.
Statistics also reveal that India still has nearly 145 Million women, who are unable to read or write.
Why Do We Lag Behind?
The factors those restrict Indian women from getting educated and joining the main stream are mainly social. Below we will go through a summarization of such factors with a brief detail.
- Patriarchal Society
Indian society is male dominated society. Women are not allowed the social status as equivalent to the men and are relegated to the confines of their houses. Though, the situation is different in urban areas, where women are more educated and employed; rural areas constituting 70% of the Indian population, still lag behind on gender equality. Educating a woman or a girl child is considered a non profitable venture in such societies. Females in many rural societies are considered a liability, which has to be ultimately transferred to other family after marriage.
- Gender Discrimination
While we progress fast to become world’s super power one day; gender inequality is the reality that screams in our society even today. Even the educated and working urban women are not aloof from the experiences of gender bias, not to mention the women in rural areas. Women in some industries are paid less than the men having same credentials. Their efficiency for a particular task or project is weighed low against that of their male counterparts. Women are grossly underestimated for promotions or for holding responsibilities. Such gender discrimination discourages the women from being educated and achieving their aspirations.
- Crime against women
Women of India are much more susceptible to violence and threaten than the men. Many crimes against women are still prevalent in Indian society, like- dowry, domestic violence, flesh trade, sexual harassment etc. such crimes only restrict the women folk to step out of their houses and enter schools or even offices, for that matter.
- Lack of Security
Though the successive governments have worked to provide Indian women a safe and secure environment at home and also at work, still a lot remains to be done. Women working even in the safest cities of the country, lack the courage to transit alone during late night hours. Girls going to school in rural areas are pestered and eve teased. Such incidents are also responsible for high female school dropout rate. It is the responsibility of the government and the society as well to ensure a girl’s safe transit to school, ensuring her education.
Advantages of Women/ Female Education in India
Following is the brief description of the advantages of women/female education in India-
- Social Development
Educating women could be the key to remove many social evils of Indian society- dowry system, female infanticide and workplace harassment etc. An educated woman changes the future generations.
- Economical Development
Educating women will definitely lead to the economical development of the nation as more women join the work force.
- High Living Standard
An educated woman will contribute financially for the needs of her family and relatives. Two earning parents provide better growth prospects for the children as well as a raised living standard of the family.
- Social Recognition
A family with educated women enjoys a good social status and is honoured more than others. An educated woman conducts appropriately in the society earning laurels for the family and making it proud.
- Improved Health And Hygiene
An educated woman recognizes the health hazards to her family and knows how to deal with them. She knows how to feed and nurture her children, telling them about good and bad hygiene.
An educated woman is like a magic wand which brings prosperity, health and pride. We just have to unleash her potential and see the magic happen. We have improved a lot on women education since our independence, but still a lot remains to be improved. Factors restricting the growth of women education in India are mainly societal, and we need to recognize them and eliminate them, if we want to achieve the goals of socio-economic development.