No schooling for women_ichhori.webP

The day an infant is born, according to the gender the future is decided, or a notion is set. Culture in many instances becomes a hurdle in achieving gender equality. During the rig Vedic era, women were treated on par with men; they participated in many important events and maintained their position. With foreign invasions in India, their culture got amalgamated, and many factors upraised which put the women specifically in a derogatory position like female feticide, sati, no widow remarriage, depriving rights to basic education, etc.

Gender is related to culture in a manner that pre-decided work for both women and men is set. There are least chances of amendment in it. The strong, powerful, and top position work should always be done by men in the society and the caregiver task, doing all the household chores and doing the easier task is kept completely for the women. Now that women's empowerment has seen an upsurge and women are handling many top positions in different sectors, the culture has amended with time. Although at distant places in the country, women are still denied rights of decision making, face domestic violence, and have less autonomy.

When the foundation is established in a manner that tends to limit the growth of women, it is hard to achieve gender equality. Women usually accept that they shall never be put at par with men in society, the workplace, and any sphere of life. Since westernization occurred, there has been a wave of awareness and confidence among women. Different women-centric laws have been made keeping in mind the deteriorating conditions women had been facing.

Whenever a calamity occurs; natural or artificial, the residents of the place are forced to shift their abode, niche, area, etc. They commute from place to place in search of food, shelter, and work. In all this dismay, the women of the house suffer. Not only because of a change of place, food and shelter but also giving up her livelihood, education, etc. Women and girls are the first ones forced to drop education and livelihood in the family. Their education remains secondary in the priority list as their first priority becomes the sole role of the caregiver.

Social media, awareness, education, self-help groups, etc. have increased manifold over the past few years. This has introduced a whole new culture and needs to change the old school of thought where patriarchy and chauvinism existed. The number of dropouts from school especially girls has not decreased even though the world has entered the Industrial revolution 4.0. As per the reports from UNICEF, 129 million girls are out of school from different classes and the number is huge.

In India, the NGO named Pratham releases an annual status of education report every year which includes gaps in the education system, innovation, and many more activities. Pratham walks hand-in-hand with the Right to education law prevailing in India. The law guarantees free and compulsory schooling to all children up to grade 8. Due to various reasons, many students drop out of school or discontinue their education. This event is more prominent in girls and young women in rural areas.

REASONS FOR NO SCHOOLING – Even after 10 years of implementation of the Right to education law in India, around 40% of girls falling in the 15-18 years of age group come under the no schooling category. Approximately 30% of girls have not seen the classrooms in India.  Here are a few reasons why the percentage of women dropping out of school has increased –

  •   Distance from home – the rural areas do not have good connectivity, in matters of road, internet connection, facilities, etc. Due to these reasons, girls are forced to discontinue their education. The covid lockdown saw a boost in online education but it required an active internet connection. In many nooks and corners of the country, the internet has not yet reached due to which the drop-out ratio is not reduced.
  •  Cost of education – although the right to education provides free and compulsory education to 6-14 years age group students, higher studies have become costlier nowadays. The rural residents only have farming as a source of income, which in turn is dependent on the weather. The rural family usually remains overburdened with responsibilities due to which the women are forced to give up the expensive education and help with house chores.
  • Modern-day schools – nowadays schools are not limited to the four walls, they have extended their boundaries and reached every household via the internet. The rural areas have not yet been completed connected with internet facilities, they hardly get electricity connection for a few hours. Due to inaccessibility, many students tend to drop out of school and get endorsed in menial work.
  •  Cultural barriers – even though our country is to achieve 75 years of independence, there are many barriers, especially for women. They are given the sole responsibility of caregiver of the family. Due to this reason, they are forced to leave education and continue with household work.

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