Why Girls In India Are Missing Out On Education They Need?
The essence to empowering women in any society is through education. However, it is largely the societal factors which are obstructing the deliverance of this noble objective
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The recent spate of initiatives by the government to promote the girl child in society has been praise worthy. The ‘BetiBachaoBetiPadhaoAndolan’ and the right to education act are measures that were aimed at women empowerment in the society but despite the legislation the girls still seem to be missing on education.
The essence to empowering women in any society is through education. However, it is largely the societal factors which are obstructing the deliverance of this noble objective.
The construct of a large portion of our society is based on the virtues of the women being the home maker, she minds and manages the physical and emotional needs and provides the basic domestic stability. Primary education good enough to read and write and do simple arithmetic required for daily chores is considered adequate for that role, which she generally learns through day to day experience and dealing.
The girl has to further grow into a well-defined societal system where hierarchies are well established and she has to start at the bottom of the family pyramid after her marriage. Thus the societal influences start a self-connection mechanism. The mind-set that the male child has to grow up and be the bread earner in the family has to change. The thought that the girl has to grow up, get married and take care of children and family, then why does she need education. Instead she must be at home and learn all house chores, this thought must change. The first and most important change that would be required is to change existing mind-sets and create newer fresher role definitions for women.
The second aspect is to focus on the hygiene factors. These include correcting the woeful lack of infrastructure specifically toilets and the gross sanitary conditions which effect the girls more than the boys in their growing years. At the secondary level girls require physical and emotional understanding and encouragement. Unfortunately, at the secondary level the ratio of male to female teachers starts reversing rapidly at this critical juncture when lady teachers are needed the most,
The third aspect that as children grow the gender distinction starts manifesting within them. The girls suffer from objectification and harassment and thus dislike going to school, elders in the family too perpetuate this sense of insecurity and girls tend to drop out of the education system on the pretext of honour.
Besides structural and societal influences we need to understand that the dynamics in a miniscule urban education system is not a reflection of the problems that prevail in the rural landscape. For a vast majority of India RTE is merely the act of going to school. The challenge is in ensuring imparting of quality education and arresting the subsequent drop- out rate.
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