Home >> Education >> Education of women in India

Education of women in India

In Indian society traditional culture did not ever appreciate women's exposure to education. Education was greatly sanskrtic, moral and culture focused. Thus these were the prerogatives of the males.

Transmission of skills and expertise in traditional India was the fundamental concern of family. Family took up most of the occupational roles of education in traditional Indian society. Caste and family than education were greatly responsible for occupational selection and when the girls were trained in matters related to house management, childcare and other domestic activities, boys were getting into the knowledge about caste-based occupation. Hence a great gender divide occurred in occupation structure.

When British came to India they wanted to create an education system that would produce the lower ranking officials required for the colonial administration, policing system and for the purpose of tax collection. Therefore importance was given on English language, culture and general reasoning. Since education demanded the selection of occupation outside family, the family never permitted its women to get into the job market that was dominated by males. Traditional culture stood on the way of women's education and their employment.

Different studies conducted on the limits to women education and employment indicate that a women education is considered as a liability for the family because higher is the education of the girl, higher is the demand for dowry and more economic pressure on the family.

Women are considered as parayadhan-the property of others so investment on their education is going to benefit the in-laws family than father's family. Not much emphasis is laid down on education of girls in India.

The employment of women is considered as supplementary and peripheral. Once a family gets into economic consolidation in the name of family dignity and pride, women are withdrawn from the job. As a result their economic dependency on husband persist leading to substantiation of gender based inequality. Women after getting equality to males after getting into same occupation like husband do not get status equality in the family. Women in India suffer from dualistic responsibilities-one at home and other at office. Being negotiating with tension emerging from the both they suffer from both mental and physical illness.

Bina Das advocates that no amount of education is radically transforming the status of women in India.In Indian society women are largely engaged in unorganized and quasi-organized sectors of activities where they settle down for less wage and other forms of gender-based discriminations.Even in organized sectors of employment, sexual harassment is very frequent explaining how value system of society works against women education on the one hand to women participation at work in another.

Krishna Raj advocates that education has not contributed for the mobility of women and the improvement in their traditional status. Women in India still change their surname after their marriage proudly carrying the identity of their husbands.

There are specific areas of female domination in occupational structure teaching, nursing, counseling, jobs in reception centers, modeling and film industry. Male domination is greatly found out to be present in heavy industries, army, and agriculture explaining that women participation in education has not given way to the feminization of work. Thus education has contributed for restrictive mobility or minimal mobility in case of women in India.

Sociologically speaking the factors responsible for the restrictive mobility can be considered as a mismatch between institutional change and attitudinal change. When modern institutions (political and educational) are emphasizing more on women's exposure to education and employment, attitude of family, kinship, peer group, community and place of work is not committed to the principle of equality. As a result education has contributed very little to the empowerment of women both economically and socially.