Education and Women Empowerment in India: A Comparative Analysis
Volume III, Issue III, 2020
Women constitute almost half of the population of the world. Education for women is the best way to improve the health, nutrition and economic status of a household that constitute a micro unit of a nation’s economy. In this context, it can be argued that lack of women education can be an impediment to the country’s economic development. In India, women achieve far less education that of men. As per the Census report 2001, the literacy rate of women is 54.16 per cent and that of men is 65.38 per cent. There has been a sincere effort to improve the education attainment of women by both government and voluntary organizations. The changes in the policies and infrastructural supports on primary, secondary and higher education reflect the initiatives of the Government of India towards women education. This paper examined the trends in women education, the investments on education and infrastructural supports in India. The study revealed that there had been significant progress in the performance of women education revealed from female literacy levels and its change over time. It was also observed that the gaps between rural and urban female literacy rates are narrowing down. It was observed that rural poverty acts as a push factor for women’s education rather than as an obstacle to women’s education. The significant influence of urbanization on women’s education implied that urbanization had been playing a beneficial role in the attainment of women’s education in India. At the same time, the drop-out rate had a negative effect on women’s education. It revealed that that reduction of girl’s drop-out rates is necessary for achieving women’s education. The initiatives of the government through investment and infrastructure in developing education in India were examined. With regard to facilities in schools, it has improved significantly, but a lot more needs to be done. In sum, the study revealed that there have been concerted efforts to encourage girls to attend schools, which would lead to higher literacy in future.