Education: Means of Empowerment

Topics: Gender, Gender differences, Sexual dimorphism Pages: 9 (3192 words) Published: September 5, 2010

LAYMAN’s definition would consider empowerment as position of woman vis-à-vis man in society. The term empowerment is widely used in the context of development, particularly women’s development. Women are partner in developmental process. It has been said by various dignitaries that in case of any big achievement by a man, contribution of the woman is well recognized. But it is found that women are not established in the deserving places of the society. The level of acquired education is an important pre-condition for individuals to enjoy power and achieve satisfaction in his/her life. Opportunities to access education are not uniform to different sections of the population. Gender bias is a major concern for unequal opportunities for acquiring education. In West Bengal, in the case of gender, girl students are relatively more deprived to reach at the end of Madhyamik level. Proportion of girls among Madhyamik examinees is 42% as against 58% of boys but negligible difference is observed with respect to achievement(result). In the present study effect of gender on Madhyamik results have been investigated. Key Words: Empowerment, Achievement, Gender bias.



Empowerment, as widely accepted is a process of awareness and building of capacity leading to greater participation, to greater decision-making power and control to transformative action (Karl, 1995). It is a way of defining, challenging and overcoming barriers in one’s life through which the individual increases his/her ability to shape his/ her life and environment (Devadas, 1999). Empowerment is the process of challenging existing power relations and of gaining greater control over the sources of power. This term is widely used in the context of development and women’s are partner in the developmental process. One can not disagree that a woman is quite capable to reach the goal and society can enjoy her services. But in the self-introspection, it will be found that women are not established in the deserving places of the society. There are various reasons behind this factor. Economic, political and mainly lack of education has deprived the women to get their rightful place in the social process. According to 2001 census, the available statistics provide adequate evidence to show that there continue to be considerable gap in literacy by sex in India (Dutta, 2004). On the contrary, one of the stated aims of the education system is to provide a learning environment in which all students can strive to achieve their potential. Despite that goal, gender inequality still persists. Moreover, around the world, girls face multiple social and economic barriers for enrolling in school.

Review of Literature
Prolific attempts have been made to explain this fact. Buckingham(1999)observed that boys and girls differ in scholastic performance due to biological differences, gender biases and socio-economic factors. Even in United States, after several decades of intense scrutiny and policy change, gender differences * Associate Scientist ‘B’, Psychology Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India. 55

Rumki Gupta in education linger (Nowell and Hedges, 1998; Ballantine, 2001). Lower percentages of adolescent girls attend and complete secondary school than boys in several parts of the world (Kurz and Prather,1995). Horne (2000) in one of his studies revealed that educational performance at school has also been found to vary according to the students’ sex. Gender disparity in schooling is also observed among the younger population, where female school enrolment in basic and secondary education is less compared to the male children (Tansel, 2002; Erturk and Daylo’ Lu, 2004). Mostly, girls drop out before completing four years of primary school (Women: Looking beyond 2000, 1995). Social inequality in educational opportunity with respect to gender is evident in India also. Gender...

References: Ballantine, J.E. (2001), The Sociology of Education: A Systematic Analysis, Upper Saddle Ridge, NJ: Prentice Hall. Buckingham, Jennifu (1999), The Puzzle of Boys Educational Decline: A Review of the Evidence, Issue Analysis, No.9, St. Leonards: Centre for Independent Studies. Devadas, Rajammal (1999), Education and Women’s Empowerment, Selection from University News-3, Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi. Dutta, Soumyendra Kishore and Bandyopadhyay, Piali (2004), Gender Bias in India: Conventional and Non-conventional Indicators, Comparative Achievements and Possible Remedies, Issues on Empowerment of Women, De, Utpal Kumar De and Ghosh, Bhola Nath (Eds.), Mohit Publication, New Delhi. Dutta, Subhabrata (2004), Women Education and Gender Disparity: A Study in a Rural Block of West Bengal, Issues on Empowerment of Women, De, Utpal Kumar De and Ghosh, Bhola Nath (Eds.), Mohit Publication, New Delhi. Erturk, Y. and Daylo’lu, M. (2004), Gender, Education and Child Labor in Turkey, Geneva: ILO. Gill, Judith (1994), Shedding Some New Light on Old Truths: Student Attitudes to School in Terms of Year Level and Gender, Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. Gupta, Rumki (2004), Empowerment of Women in Terms of Education and their Deprivation, Issues on Empowerment of Women, De, Utpal Kumar and Ghosh, Bhola Nath (Eds.), Mohit Publication, New Delhi. Horne, Robert (2000), The Performance of Males and Females in School and Tertiary Education, Australian Quarterly: Journal of Contemporary Analysis, Vol.72, No.5-6, pp.21-26. Karl, Marilee (1995), Women and Empowerment, Participation and Decision Making, London ZED press. Kurz, K.M. and Prather, C.J. (1995), Improving the Quality of Life of Girls, Association for Women in Development (Washington, D.C.) and United Nations Children’s Fund (New York). Moss, Jacque D. and Brown, F.G. (1979), Sex Bias and Academic Performance: An Empirical Study, Journal of Educational Measurement, Vol.16, No.3. Nowell, A., and Hedges, L.V. (1998), Trends in Gender Differences in Academic Achievement From 1960 to 1994: An Analysis of Differences in Mean, Variance, and Extreme Scores, Sex Roles, Vol.39, pp.21-43. Ramachandran, V. (2003), Snakes and Ladders, A Study Commissioned by the World Bank, New Delhi: Mimeo. Rao, J.N.K., Hartley, H.O. and Cochran, W.G. (1962), A Simple Procedures of Unequal Probability Sampling Without Replacement, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series-B, Vol.24, pp.482-491. Stipek, Deborah and Granlinski, Heidi (1991), Gender Differences in Children’s Achievement-Related Beliefs and Emotional Responses to Success and Failure in Mathematics, Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol.83, No.3, pp.361-71. Swetman, Daniel (1995), Rural Elementary Students’ Attitudes Toward Mathematics, Rural Educator, Vol.16, No.3, pp.20-22. Tansel, A. (2002), Determinants of School Attainment of Boys and Girls in Turkey: Individual, Household and Community Factors, Economics of Education Review, Vol.21, pp.455-470. West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (1989), List of recognized X-Class Schools Calcutta. Women: Looking beyond (2000), United Nations, New York, 1995.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Adult Education for Women Empowerment Essay
  • Education and Empowerment Essay
  • Womens Education and Empowerment Essay
  • Essay on Empowerment
  • Empowerment Essay
  • education Essay
  • being mean Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free