Understanding The Background of Low Literacy In Women. Former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru once said, “You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women.”
According to the 2011 census, the female literacy rate is 65.46%which is lower than the world female literacy rate that is 79.7%. Women education in India is still a major issue.
There is an even bigger gap between the two genders when it comes to literacy and education rate. As per 2011 Census, the female literacy rate is 65.46%, as opposed to 82.7% in China, and 79.7% in the world.
Reasons for Low Literacy in Women’s in India
The deep-rooted Patriarchy is the major reason for low literacy when parents cannot afford an education for their kids, the son is always given preference over the daughter if at all they try and send them to school. The daughter stays at home and cooks, cleans, and helps her parents in doing the chores, or she might even be employed as a helper somewhere, which is child labor and illegal as per law.
The truly sad story about Indian parents is they spent more money on their daughter’s wedding then on their Education.Because of this reason, women are said to have jobs and not careers!
Another reason is, still, most people believe that it is not wise for women to be educated, it spoils them, in the end, they have to do house chores then why to waste time in education, it’s better if they stay at home and learn to do household chores. Also, it is believed that the bride should be less educated than the groom; so if the bride is a BA, then the groom should be at least MA and more the groom is educated more will be his demand for dowry.
Another major reason for low literacy is the lack of education infrastructures in rural areas. Most of the villagers don’t have school or school for higher education so students have to travel to another village or city nearby. In this case, most parents aren’t comfortable to send their daughters as it is not safe.
Majors Taken by Government
The Indian government, however, is trying its best to overcome this problem and increase literacy rate in women. It has adopted many strategies, some of which are the following:
- Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao- The government of India introduced a new scheme called Beti Bachao Beti Padhao on 22 January 2015 in Panipat in Haryana, which will help in generating awareness and improving the efficiency of delivery of welfare services meant for women with an initial corpus of Rs 100 crores. The Beti Bachao Beti padhao scheme is for survival, protection and education of the girl child. The prime objectives of this program are to bring a change in people’s mindset towards girl child on or after her birth.
- The Girl Star Project- This is a series of films which documents stories of girls from the most disadvantaged communities across five northern states who, through attaining education, have managed to break the shackles of socio-economic constraints to make a success of their lives and become self-sufficient. These young women have grown to become role models in their communities, who inspire younger girls to go to school and continue their education. The selection of characters for the films is from ordinary rural settings which the masses can identify with. These short films will be used as a tool at different levels- To motivated parents to ensure that their daughters go to school and do not drop out.
- Contribution of Literacy Campaigns to Female Literacy- The provision of educational opportunities for women has been an important part of the national endeavor in the field of education since India’s independence. The government of India launched the national literacy mission in 1988 for the eradication of adult illiteracy. The mission of this national literacy campaigns is to create an environment where women demand knowledge and information, empowering themselves to change their lives, spread the message that education of women is a precondition for fighting against their oppression and also highlight the plight of the girl child and stress the need for universalization of elementary education as a way of addressing the issue.
But it’s only the government’s duty but also every individual too to do something to increase the literacy rate of women. Low Literacy in women is a major issue because it gives birth to gender inequality and a nation can never flourish without uplifting the status of women; they constitute 50% of the population.
Also it is well said, ‘ If you educate a man, you educate a person but if you educate a woman, you educate a family.’