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Manpreet Singh
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On the one hand, we have Kalpana Chawla, Arti Shah, Indira Gandhi, etc, who have excelled in the field of studies and reached new heights. On the other hand, we have a gaped female literacy rate at 53%, almost 25% less than their male counterparts. We have been an independent nation for almost 70 years now, then where have we lagged behind all these years? Why we are still looming large over illiteracy despite having made education a fundamental right? With the advancement that we have made, we should have achieved a good literacy rate in India. But the story is still the same.
The female literacy rate is at a very low level, the main factor is the patriarchal setup of our society. It is our old thinking and bad social customs that have demarcated the roles between two genders. We as a society still expect that girls should look after the home and only men are made to do work in order to earn money. This old thinking is the biggest factor why our girls are not even able to clear primary education. To begin with, they are not given much choice about their life and their whole life is controlled by their parents. After they have completed their teen years, they are mostly married. They are regarded as some kind of burden on their parents. Even if they are allowed to pursue education, then also they will have very few choices before them. They either land in Home Science or teaching jobs. Due to this very thinking and social setup, much of our talent in female children are lost forever.
Even if they are able to step of their home, that is the only one just one hurdle crossed, they still have to face many difficulties in order to state their claim on higher education. Right from the lack of sanitation facilities at school colleges to the harassment faced by them by their male counterparts, the girls are always at the receiving end. The question that remains is how can we improve their position and make them more educated. We need to understand that for that to happen we have to shackle all the roots of patriarchal society and give our girls the equal rights that they deserve. The government plays an important role in this and they have to rise above their vote bank politics. We had to make our parents understand that the girls are not a burden but an asset for them.