Gender Disparities in Education: an Obstacle in the Empowerment of Women

Topics: Gender, Gender equality, Female Pages: 6 (1871 words) Published: September 8, 2013
GENDER DISPARITIES IN EDUCATION: AN OBSTACLE IN THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN By
Asst. Prof. Mrs. Vandana C. Kakade
Ph.D. Research Scholar, Department of English,
JJT University, Zunzunu, Rajasthan.
Kakadevc@yahoo.co.in
ABSTRACT
The present paper focuses on the gender disparities in education which are an obstacle in gender equity and the empowerment of women. Gender equity and the empowerment of women is necessary to bring about the socio-economic development of country. Education is the key to the empowerment of women. Education helps women take advantage of opportunities that could benefit them and their families, preparing them for labour force and helping them understand their legal and reproductive rights. Hence, it is needed to increase women’s access to education and to eliminate gender disparities. To face the global challenges, high literacy rate, gender equity and women’s empowerment is necessary. The objective of this paper is to draw attention to male-female education patterns, differential education and the impact of it on women and to suggest alternatives to combat the existing gender bias practices in education. The scope of this paper is limited to the gender disparities in education in India.

INTRODUCTION :
Women education in India plays a crucial role in the all round development of the nation. It is true that formerly women were deprived of education and the benefits that came along with it, but then, things have changed to some extent in recent times. Today the government has introduced various initiative programs for the development of female’s education. Education brings about gender equity and the empowerment of women. Over the past decade, gender equity and the empowerment of women have been explicitly recognized as key not only to the health of nations, but also to social and economic development. Gender equity and women‘s empowerment are two sides of the same coin: progress towards gender equity requires women‘s empowerment and women‘sempowerment requires gender equity. If women are educated and empowered they will also be a source of income for the family. This will not only raise the standard of living of the family but also the economic condition of the country. After all the economic conditions of a country will grow only if all the citizens are prosperous. JawaharLal Nehru had once rightly said,

“Educate a man and you educate one person.
Educate a woman and you educate the whole family.”
Education, in reality, is the most valuable gift that parents can give to their daughter. If a girl is educated then she can also opt for a job if the need arises. So she would not be considered as a burden on the family. This would check many problems in the life of women. Education can make her aware of the laws made by the government for her safety. Being educated she would certainly understand the advantages of a small family as well and this would check the increasing population of the country. An educated mother would be more conscious about the health and hygiene of the family than her illiterate counterpart. Studies have proved that lack of education affects the general health of the family. Health awareness can also check the female foeticide which has become a difficult issue today. Infant mortality is inversely related to the educational level of the mother. For example, in Kerela female literacy rate is highest and infant mortality rate is lowest. On the other hand in Bihar where female literacy rate is lowest, infant mortality rate is highest.. Besides general health, inculcating good moral values in her children would be one of the top priorities of any educated mother. In the long run, well brought up children are an asset which any society would love to possess. Unfortunately women education never got its due share of attention in India. India is a patriarchal country where men enjoy superior status and women are subordinated in each and every...
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