ISSN-2231 0495

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT: NEED OF WOMEN EDUCATION

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT: NEED OF WOMEN EDUCATION

Dr.Mrs.Shashi Agrawal
 Associate Professor,
Janata College of Education,Chandrapur(M.S)
Shital Salve( Dumbere)
Assistant Professor,
Shri Sai college of Education,Chandrapur

 

 

Introduction

Stressing on the need for empowering women through women's education, the authors say that education enables a women to become strong physically by giving her knowledge about good physical health, which would ultimately benefit her mental health. The value of women's education has received global recognition over the past two decades with the mounting awareness in the drive towards women's equality. In certain professions like medicine, social work, nursing care, teaching, they have proved to be better than men. The Government of India has opened the door and windows of education for all through Constitutional Provision, Special Laws and Educational Policies.

"If you educate a man, you educate a person but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation", said Mahatma Gandhi


 

Education is the weapon which strengthen the personality and makes one confident. Education helps in the mental development of women and a mentally satisfied and contented woman is an asset to a family, society and nation and she can use her efficiency and potential in the right manner. Women can maintain a proper balance between physical health and mental health with good education.

Education is a milestone for women empowerment because it enables them to respond to opportunities to challenge their traditional roles and to change their lives. Educating women benefits the whole society. It has a more significant impact on poverty and development than men's education. Education plays an important role in removing economic poverty by opening various job avenues for her so that she can work hand in hand with man and give support to the family, which in the long run strengthens the economy.

Education develops the personality and rationality of individuals, qualifies them to fulfill certain economic, political and cultural functions and thereby improves their socio-economic status. Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that all human beings are equal in dignity and rights without distinction of any kind including distinction based on sex. Girl's education is an investment and not expense which gives its returns in long run in a positive way acknowledging the status of women in family which is the first step of progress and development. Victor Hugo said, "Men have sight, Women insight" women have proved to be vibrant, dynamic, sincere and perfect and there is not a single field where women have not made stickles. It is said that men makes houses, women make homes.

In Indian mythology, women is divine, holy and pure. Durga symbols of strengthen, Saraswati denotes the divine between of knowledge, Parvati-the goddess of power and Laxmi-the endower of wealth are worshipped in the country. Despite the fact that India has a strong written constitution proclaiming loss for haunting women in the form of female foeticide, female infanticide, child labour, child marriage, dowry, sexual harassment, rape, eve-testing, widow marriage. According to report by the National Commission for Woman (NWC) and the Women's Rights Commission, crime graph against women in increasing at an alarming rate. Margaret Sanger said, “Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not owed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression."

Although a woman had been very strong, patient, large hearted, intelligent, a good motivator and backbone of a healthy family in the olden days despite been uneducated, now in the present day with education, she can realize her potential and have her own standing and prove her capabilities along with their qualities.

Women Education Status

The constitutional directive to provide free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14 years has remained unfulfilled till now. Educational experts admit that this failure is mainly due to the slow progress of education among girls. After 56 years of Independence, there still exists a great disparity between male and female educational status. In 2011 the percentage of educated persons increased to 74 of which male percentage was 83 and female percentage was 66 respectively. Literacy rate among rural women is only 58.8 percentage as per 2011 census. The proportion of women among primary school teacher is mainly due to difficulties that women have to face in serving in rural areas, caused by resistance from their families, the fear of insecurity in villages and lack of physical amenities such as accommodation, schooling, transport and medical facilities.

Female literacy was at a national average of 65.5 % whereas the male literacy was 82.1%. Within the Indian states, Kerala has shown the highest literacy rates of 90.02% whereas Bihar averaged lower than 50% literacy, the lowest in India.

India is the world's largest democracy where billions of people live and almost of half of these are women. So how does women education effect India's development? If girls are not educated, families suffer too. Educated mothers use their knowledge to improve the health of their children and other family members. Their knowledge about health risk protects their families against illness. Child mortality rate is much higher where mothers lack education than in families where mothers are educated. Girls education emerging as one of the top priorities of Indian society "Educating girls is not an option, it is a necessity". We all want to elimilnate gender disparities in education.

Adi Shankaracharya, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, Swami Vivekanand, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru spoke against the inhuman oppression and crimes perpetrated on woman in the name of tradition and warn out religious section. Margaret Cousins, worked hard to elevate the status to create social awareness and to increase legal and constitutional rights of women. Annie Besant, Mutthulakshmi Reddy, Kamla Devi Chattopadhaya, Durga Bai Deskmukh, Sarojini Naidu are the other prominent crusader for equality of women's rights.

Barriers Of Women Education

In Indian families especially rural areas, girl children play the role of second mother by shouldering the responsibilities of household work such as looking after the sibling, fetching water, collecting wood, cleaning and cooking etc. and discourage girl child to go school.

The second social evil is bonded labour system, which quite discouraging phenomenon which stand as barrier for girls education for the underprivileged families of washer man and agricultural labour.

The lower enrolment of girls in school is one of the foundational factors which stand as stumbling block for women education. In India, more than 50% of the girls are non-starter.According to the year, every ten girls in the age group of 6-11 are still not enrolled in schools.

The incidence and prevalence of Dropouts among girls especially in rural, tribal and slums areas seem to be quite high. The main reason was poor academic record of the trainees which difficult to cope up with the subjects and mere not able to concentrate on the practical’s. The second reason was that some of the trainees were able to get job before the completion of the course. The third reason was the teachers did not teach well and also students poor economic background. According to available sources, occurrence of Dropout and stagnation amongst girls are nearly twice that of boys all over India.

In India, the school environment for girls is not really interesting and encouraging. The methods of teaching are mostly outdated, rigid and uninteresting. There are many schools with poor basic facilities such as drinking water, latrine and toilet facilities, no good infrastructure and no experienced teachers especially female teachers preferable for any parents for safety of their girl children.

According to the UN sources, India is the most child labour populous nation in the globe with more than 50 million child labourers worked in carpet making, domestic works, beedi works, glass bangles, construction etc. In most of their industries girl children are preferred for high productivity and low cast.In many Poverty stricken families, children especially girls are considered as economic assets as they bring income for livelihood as well to save from economic crises due to death or incapacity of parents.

Dowry system and other social practices act as main causes of the neglect of the girl child and discrimination against girl child. In many families especially poor and down-trodden think that if their daughters are educated more, they have to accumulate more assets and properties to provide as dowry in large proportion at the time of marriage, so prefer rather to either stop their children with average education and so on but never higher education. The high population growth rate, rapid urbanization, migration etc. Also attribute immensely for the poor literacy level of women and girls in India.

Need of Women Education In Women Empowerment

The concept of Women empowerment is a recent one. The first year of New Millennium 2001 was declared as "WOMEN EMPOWERMENT YEAR" Jawaharlal Nehru said "Education of a boy is the education of one person, but the education of girl is the education of entire family." Education of a women leads to a better family and ultimately an ideal society to a progressive nation. A progressive nation is one where all the people of the country in respective of sex, religion, caste, creed and color are economically, socially, culturally, politically and through all thoughts are independent.

Education of Women Enhances the Women Empowerment in the following ways:

  1. An education of women can bring change in the attribute of family members and society. It also helps in removing mal-traditions like Sati-Pratha, Early marriage, Dowry etc. S Education plays an important role in removing economic poverty by opening various job avenues for her so that she can work hand in hand with man and give support to the family. Education promotes team work rather than making a women individualistic. S Education makes her an opportunity to choose a career which is best suited for her.
  2. Every women has got her own aspiration which may be high or low, but education helps to maintain a balanced aspiration knowing her interest, ability and potential which further helps her to choose a correct field of her work.
  3. Education helps in balanced personality development by giving due weight to various aspects of personality.
  4. Education of women also plays an important role in teaching her expression of feeling or through effective communication which can solve disputes and adjustment problems of any level.
  5. An educated women is a guiding light for the children, family members, society and nation, she knows how to have a happy family and balanced and healthy relations with others.
  6. Education gives power to a women to become strong physically by giving her knowledge about sports, exercise, health- related aspects and good physical health; this will definitely benefit her mental health.
  7. Education helps to improve the sex ratio and in controlling population.
  8. Education encourages women especially the rural women to take advantage of the various schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Operation Black-Board, and Total Literacy Programmes etc.

Constitutional Provisions, Special Laws and National Policies In Support        Of        Women Empowerment

The importance of women as an important human resource was recognized by the Constitution of India which not only accorded equality to women but also empowered the State. A number of Articles of the Constitution repeated towards the socio-economic development of women and participation decision making. These are:

  • Article 14 Men and women to have equal     rights   and opportunities in the political, economic and social spheres.
  • Article 15(1) Prohibits discrimination against any citizens on the grounds of religion, race, sex, caste etc.
  • Article 16 Equality of opportunities in matter of public appointments for all citizens.
  • Article 39(d) Equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
  • Article 42 The state to make provision for ensuring first and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.

Government has also enacted specific laws to safeguard the interests of women and for up gradation of their status. These are:

  • The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 which provides for women the right to parental property.
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 which declares the taking of dowry an unlawful activity and thereby prevents the exploitation of women.
  • Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 which provides payment of remuneration equal with men for work of equal value.
  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 which legalizes abortion conceding the right of a women to go for abortion on the ground of physical and mental health.
  • The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1983 which seeks to stop various types of crimes against women.
  • The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 which prohibits the Vulgar presentation of women in the media such as- newspapers, cinema, T.V. etc.
  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides for more effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family.

The goal of National Policy for the Empowerment of Women, 2001 is to bring about the advancement, development and empowerment of women. The policy states that: “Equal access to education for women and girls will be ensured. Special measures will be taken to eliminate discrimination, universalize, education, eradicate illiteracy and create gender sensitive educational system, increase enrolment and retention rates of girls and improve the quality of education to facilitate life-long learning as well as development of vocational or technical skills of women. Reducing gender gap in secondary and higher education would be a focus area. Specific time targets in existing policies will be achieved, with special focus on girls and women, part curly those belonging to weaker sections      including the SC/ST/OBC/Minorities."

Specially, the Objectives Of This Policy Include; 

  1. Creating an environment through positive and social policies for full development of women to enable them to realize their full potential.
  2. Equal access to women to health care, quality education at all levels, career and vocational guidance, employment, equal remuneration, occupational health and safety, social security and public office etc.
  3. Changing societal attitudes and community practices by active participation and involvement of both men and women.
  4. Elimination of discrimination of all forms of violence against women and the girl child.

Conclusion

To conclude the present scenario, it may be said that woman in the modern hi- tech society which is moving very fast under the shadow of population explosion, conflicts, chaos and corruption can mold the personality of the adolescent and youth in a proper direction and perspective, provided the woman are themselves in power.

There is a positive relationship between education and woman empowerment. Another important aspect in this regard is that, in these societies the issue of women empowerment has been facing certain serious challenges, which are outcome of some certain evil norms and attitude such as child labour, child marriage, illiteracy, superstition, partial attitude of the parents, female feticides, etc. and in such a situation women empowerment is an urgent necessity. In order to promote women's empowerment, it is necessary to create an environment that will allow women to participate in educational programs and share the benefits. The educational and other policies for women empowerment should be implemented in reality for empowering women in the world.

References

  1. Aggrawal, J.C. (1995). Theory and Principals of Education. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd.
  2. Sharma, B.M. And Sharma, A.S. (2007). Encyclopedia Of Education In 21st Century. New Delhi: Common Wealth Publishers, Vol.7
  3. Panda, N. (2011). Education-Key For Women Empowerment
  4. Dr. Palharya, S. (2009). Women Empowerment
  5. G01 (2001}.Nation Policy for Empowerment of Women: 2001, New Delhi: Ministry Of HRD.
  6. Ministry Of HRD (2001): Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Guideline. New Delhi.
  7. GOI (1991). Programmed Of Action, MHRD, New Delhi.
  8. GOI (1986). National Policy Of Education: MHRD, New Delhi.

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