Women in India

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Women in ancient India were held in high respect. With the course of time, the status of woman got lowered. Muscle and money power started dominating the societies. And as men fought the wars and ran the ventures of industrial production, they started considering themselves superior to woman.

After the development of science and technology, the practice of female foeticide on a large scale also started. This eventually led to a slump in the female sex ratio. According to the census of 2001, the sex ratio in India is 927 females to 1,000 males. Dowry has become widespread and the birth of a girl child became inauspicious. In several parts of India, women are seen as an economic liability, even with the contribution of women in numerous ways to our economy and society. Early marriages, rape, molestation, sexual harassment, forced prostitution, eve teasing, etc are a common issue today. The crime rate against women is mounting at a startling rate.

This essay depicts how women are being exploited and how their needs are being repressed in our primarily orthodox society. It also shows how it can avoided, so that women can live freely, walk freely and talk freely.

Women & Education:

Education is one of the powerful tools in the liberation and the empowerment of women. It is the single utmost factor which can amazingly improve the position of women in any society.

The 2001 Census report shows that the literacy rate among Indian women is only 54 percent. It is almost demoralizing to observe that the literacy rate of Indian women is even much poorer to the national average of 65.38. The expansion of education for women in rural areas is very sluggish. This clearly means that still large number of women of our country is illiterate, backward, weak and exploited. In addition education is also not available to all equally which can be seen by the Gender inequality in education. The literacy rate for the women is just 54% against 76% of men according to the 2001 Census.

The phenomenon involving Women education is multi dimensional. Not one factor or cause can be held accountable for the low literacy rate of Indian women. It is related with the combination of many factors including social, economic, demographic, administrative, cultural, educational, political, etc.

Some of the important factors that can be credited for the current situation are:

Female age at marriage: There is high connection of the female literacy rate with that of the female age during her marriage. The female age at marriage of 18 (lately 21 years) as approved by various legislations are not at all followed in India. It is very much neglected by the parents with low literacy background. This intolerable practice dejects the female children to continue their education, as they go into family life at an early age.

Lower Enrolment in Schools: The low enrolment of girls in schools is one of the fundamental factors that stand as the tentative block for empowerment of Indian women. According to the latest statistics, two out of every ten girls in the 6 to 11 age group are yet to be enrolled in schools.

High dropout rate of girls from schools: The occurrences of dropouts among girls mainly in slums, rural, and tribal areas are quite high. According to the latest statistics, occurrence of dropout among the girls is almost twice as that of the boys in India.

Poor School Environment for girls: Broadly, the school environment for girls in India is really not encouraging. There are still hundreds of schools with poor essential amenities such as drinking water, improper building and inadequate number of teachers particularly the female teachers who are preferred by many parents for the safety of their girl children.

Poverty, Bonded Labour and Child Labour Practices: This is a very discouraging factor that stands as barrier for girl’s education in rural areas and also for the underprivileged families consisting of the washer men, the...
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