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Manpreet Singh
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In the last century, a paradigm shift has occurred with regard to education access. These days more girls than ever are going to school. But can we truly call it a win-win situation? Despite this progress, women and girls are still facing multiple barriers that are directly related to gender bias and combination with other factors, such as age, ethnicity, poverty, and disability. This is preventing them an equal enjoyment of the right to quality education, which is not a fundamental right after the 86th amendment. Among barriers includes access to quality education and within education systems, institutions, and classrooms, such as, amongst others.
Even the international community such as the United Nations has recognized the equal right to quality education for everyone and is committed to achieving gender equality in all fields, particularly education. It includes acceptance of international human rights law. Now all this mandates that states have legal/moral obligations to removing all discriminatory barriers, whether they exist in law or in society. Our government needs to undertake such positive measures in order to bring about equality within and through education.
Still, the major barrier is gender stereotypes and it continues to underpin or increase many of the obstacles faced by women and girls in getting their right to education. Ideally, education systems should be a tool to nail down gender stereotypes. But sadly, in many cases, the education system itself, and particularly the curriculum, textbooks, and teachers play a detrimental role in perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes. It causes a wide range of effects on girls throughout their lives. Problems such as choosing course options and subjects they take. They mostly influence their employment prospects and their ability to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. Time has come to shed these gender stereotypes and the deep-rooted patriarchal mindset.