“There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for the bird to fly on one wing.” – Swami Vivekananda
Women’s education in India has been of major concern for both the government and the civil society, as it has been time and again proved that women play a significant role in the overall development of the society. Women’s education is of immense importance in a country like India because it not only helps women to respond to the challenges and change their lives.
Today with an estimated 164 million women aged over 15 still illiterate and only one in 100 making it to the matriculation level, India still has a long way to go in achieving the dream of quality and equality in education. While in urban India, women’s education has taken a great momentum, the practice is quite slow in rural India.
We have a few questions to answer – why does investing in girl’s education help in alleviating poverty? What are the challenges surrounding the issue of women’s education and empowerment? What is currently being done and how can we bring about a difference?
Why Invest in Educating a Girl?
Well, this might seem like a million dollar question, but it has several reasons; education equips girls to make major decisions regarding their lives, improves their health, create a spillover effects on their families and thereby the society at large. India is poised to emerge as one of the most developed economies by 2020. In such a scenario there’s no doubt that the women empowerment has an extensive role to play in the overall development of the society at large. Two major aspects of educating a girl child are explained below:
The health of the future generation is linked directly to the current physical status of women and girls. Infant mortality rate decreases by nearly 8% every year a woman stays in school.
- Increased Immunization: Data collected from several countries indicate that mothers who are educated are more likely to immunize their kids.
- Small Family Size: Improvement in women’s education leads to women having fewer kids
- Lower Risk of Violence: Educated women are at a lesser risk of facing domestic violence
On the other hand, the returns on investment in women’s education are much higher than boys; women who are educated can increase earning potentials and eventually the economic growth rates. These comprise the following:
- Higher Growth: Increased education among women creates the right conditions for the economic growth.
- Increased Wages and Improved Governance: Women’s education does not only ensure the coming in of extra wages, but also prepares girls for participating in social and civic life; make decisions, exercise their rights and so on.
Women’s education in India plays a significant role in ensuring the overall development of the country. This ensures not only the development of the human resources but also the progress of quality of life in every sphere. Women’s education in India can definitely ensure the following for them:-
- Better Employment Opportunities
In an era when life is extremely fast paced and uncertainties are profound – it is important that every individual has his or her own economic freedom. This is truly applicable to women. Educated women are equipped enough to find them a better job and sustain themselves. For example, if a woman enrolls for an MBA program in IIM Bangalore, chances are higher that she will end up working in the corporate sector for a fat pay package.
- Support their Families
Once a woman starts working, she will be earning not only for herself but also for their families. They will make sure that they provide everything that is required for their children.
A 2004 survey conducted by the International Center for Women for the well-being in Jharkhand and Bihar found that not only educated girls married late but were also less likely to be victims of domestic violence — Source: ww.icrw.org
The Final Words
While we have come a long way since independence, gender equality still persists and a lot more still needs to be done in order to eradicate them. The breach in female-male literacy rate is an indicator of the same.
Not only in India, but Women empowerment and women’s education is a global issue and discussions on women’s right are at the forefront of several campaigns across the globe.
However, despite so much a lot more needs to be done in the realm of women’s education in India and ensure gender equality. It must be understood that education of women is one of the most powerful ways of changing the overall dynamics of the society.
A digital media professional, Sampurna loves creativity and challenges. A passionate blogger, she has been lending her expertise to the online world by penning blog posts and articles that span across myriad topics ranging from jobs to education and even social issues. The above post throws light on the importance of women’s education in India.