If we go back around 20 years back then violence against women was not considered an issue worthy of international attention or concern. This began to change in the 1980s as women’s groups organized locally and internationally to demand attention to the physical, psychological, and economic abuse of women. Gradually, violence against women has come to be recognized as a legitimate human rights issue and as a significant threat to women’s health and well-being.
We are coming across so many crimes against women every day in our society. Either it is a small child, teenagers, school-going girls or of any age, she is facing so many bad things, which none to them want to experience it. The crime against women that no one understands. They would be educated, professional women versus a demonstrated liar—a man who had pretended to be a doctor, an employee of a company, even an astronaut—whom a court-appointed psychologist would decide met the legal definition of a “sexually violent predator”, and yet the most remarkable thing about both trials wasn’t the way they exposed the alleged tactics of a serial date rapist. The testimony of the women wasn’t enough to get a single rape conviction against him. The verdicts in these cases would be far lighter than his accusers sought—and victims’ advocates say the outcome reveals a disturbing truth about the justice system. Nationwide, despite all the legal advances of the past three decades, little has changed for women who report a date rape, because the juries don’t believe date rape exists.”
Education play a very significant role for
any human being and it plays a major role for overall development of any
individual. In today’s environment we see that how many people specially
females are very much illiterate. They don’t have proper access to educate
themselves or they have very limited access to education. As per the census
done in 2011, an effective literacy rate for women was 65.46% whereas
for men it was 85.14%.
Lack of education means lack of awareness.
Illiterate women are not aware of their rights. They know nothing about
initiatives taken by the government for their welfare. Illiterate women keep on
struggling hard and bear harshness of life, family and even their husbands.
As per new study, India’s school education
system is under-performing in terms of quality in female literacy when compared
to its neighbours, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. These findings were released
by International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (or
Education Commission). It shows that India’s system is under-performing.
The proportion of women who completed five years of primary schooling in India and were literate was 48%, much less than 92% in Nepal, 74% in Pakistan and 54% in Bangladesh. The female literacy rates in India went up by one to 15% after completing two years of schooling. Corresponding numbers for Pakistan and Nepal were three to 31% and 11 to 47% respectively. Around the world, female literacy rates are improving. However, it is not clear if that is because of improvement in school quality. India ranks low in global indices of female literacy as well. African countries Rwanda, Ethiopia and Tanzania all rank higher than India. India was ranked 38th among the 51 developing countries for female literacy rates when countries are ranked by earliest grade at which at least they were.
One of the main factors contributing to this relatively low literacy rate is usefulness of education and availability of schools in vicinity in rural areas. There is a shortage of classrooms to accommodate all the students in 2006–2007. In addition, there is no proper sanitation in most schools. The study of 188 government-run primary schools in central and northern India revealed that 59% of the schools had no drinking water facility and 89% no toilets. In 600,000 villages and multiplying urban slum habitats, free and compulsory education is the basic literacy instruction given by an un- qualified teachers. The average pupil teacher ratio for all India is 42:1, implying a teacher shortage. Such inadequacies resulted in a non-standardized school system, where literacy rates may differ.Furthermore, the expenditure allocated to education was never above 4.3% of the GDP from 1951 to 2002 despite the target of 6% by the Kothari Commission. This further complicates the literacy problem in India.
caste disparities also exist. Discrimination of lower castes has resulted
in high dropout rates and low enrolment rates. The National Sample Survey
Organisation and the National Family Health Survey collected data in India on
the percentage of children completing primary school which are reported to be
only 36.8% and 37.7% respectively. On 21 February 2005, the Prime Minister of
India said that he was pained to note that “only 47 out of 100 children
enrolled in class I reach class VIII, putting the dropout rate at 52.78 per
cent.” It is estimated that at least 35 million, and possibly as many
as 60 million, children aged 6–14 years are not in school.
poverty in India has also deterred the pursuit of formal education as education
is not deemed of as the highest priority among the poor as compared to other basic
necessities. The MRP-based (mixed recall period) poverty estimates of about 22%
of poverty in 2004–05 which translated to 22 out of per 100 people are not
meeting their basic needs, much less than meeting the need for education.
The large proportion of illiterate females is another reason for the low literacy rate in India. Inequality based on gender differences resulted in female literacy rates being lower at 65.46% than that of their male counterparts at 82.14%.Due to strong stereotyping of female and male roles, Sons are thought of to be more useful and hence are educated. Females are pulled to help out on agricultural farms at home as they are increasingly replacing the males on such activities which require no formal education. Less than 2% of girls who were engaged in agriculture work attended school.
Prior to the British era, education in India commenced under the supervision of a guru in traditional schools called gurukuls. The gurukuls were supported by public donation and were one of the earliest forms of public-school offices. However, these gurukuls catered to the Upper castes males of the Indian society and the majority population received basic literacy at temples along with trade apprenticeship as per their caste-based professions.
India’s literacy rate is at 74.04%. Tripura has achieved a literacy rate of 94.65%. Bihar is the least literate state in India, with a literacy of 63.82%. Several other social indicators of the two states are correlated with these rates, such as life expectancy at birth (71.61 for males and 75 for females in Kerala, 65.66 for males and 64.79 for females in Bihar), infant mortality per 1,000 live births (10 in Kerala, 61 in Bihar), birth rate per 1,000 people (16.9 in Kerala, 30.9 in Bihar) and death rate per 1,000 people (6.4 in Kerala, 7.9 in Bihar).
census since 1881 had indicated rising literacy in the country, but the
population growth rate had been high enough that the absolute number of
illiterates rose with every decade. The 2001–2011 decade is the second census
period (after the 1991–2001 census period) when the absolute number of Indian
illiterates declined (by 31,196,847 people), indicating that the literacy
growth rate is now outstripping the population growth rate.
Six Indian states account for about 70% of all illiterates in India: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Slightly less than half of all Indian illiterates (48.12%) are in the six Hindi-speaking states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
variations in literacy exist even between contiguous states. While there are
few states at the top and bottom, most states are just above or below the
The right to education is a fundamental right and UNESCO aims at education for all by 2015. India, along with the Arab states and sub-Saharan Africa, has a literacy level below the threshold level of 75%, but efforts are on to achieve that level. The campaign to achieve at least the threshold literacy level represents the largest ever civil and military mobilization in the country. International Literacy Day is celebrated each year on 8th September with the aim to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.
The list of action taken by the Government of India to attract the
illiterate people in rural and urban areas, those were the popular initiative,
which are as follows-
National Literacy Mission
The National Literacy Mission, launched in 1988, aimed at attaining a literacy rate of 75 per cent by 2007. Its charter is to impart functional literacy to non-literates in the age group of 35–75 years. The Total Literacy Campaign is their principal strategy for the eradication of illiteracy. The Continuing Education Scheme provides a learning continuum to the efforts of the Total Literacy and post literacy programmes.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Hindi for Total Literacy Campaign) was launched in 2001 to ensure that all children in the 6–14-year age-group attend school and complete eight years of schooling by 2010. An important component of the scheme is the Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative and Innovative Education, meant primarily for children in areas with no formal school within a one-kilometer radius. The centrally sponsored District Primary Education Programme, launched in 1994, had opened more than 160,000 new schools by 2005, including almost 84,000 alternative schools.
The bulk of Indian illiterates live in the country’s rural areas, where social and economic barriers play an important role in keeping the lowest strata of society illiterate. Government programmes alone, however well-intentioned, may not be able to dismantle barriers built over centuries. Major social reformation efforts are sometimes required to bring about a change in the rural scenario. Specific mention is to be made regarding the role of the People’s Science Movements (PSMs) in the Literacy Mission in India during the early 1990s. Several non-governmental organisations such as Pratham, ITC, Rotary Club, Club have worked to improve the literacy rate in India.
Why we talk about women empowerment only and not men empowerment? Why women need empowerment and why not men? Women make almost 50% of the total population of the world. Then why this large section of the society needs empowerment? They are not in minority category thus as to require special treatment. Biologically speaking, it is a proven fact that female is superior to male. Then the question arises that why we are debating the topic ‘Women Empowerment’?
What is Women Empowerment?
It’s not that just by providing an equal category to women or promoting gender equality would unpick all the problems but the most essential feature is that a woman of our society should be provided with that much freedom so that they are free from all the social, moral and religious limitations and get an opportunity to evolve themselves so that they can take decisions for not only their own betterment but for the upliftment of the society as a whole.
There is no doubt that the importance of women have strongly evolved with the times. There was a time when she was restricted to be just a puppet in the hands of a male dominating society, but now she is creating a niche for herself at all the spheres, and the credit should wisely go to our forefathers, who fought for the dignity of women, abolished the evil practices like Sati Pratha. Similarly several other social reformers such as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Swami Vivekananda, Acharya Vinoba Bhave and many others worked for the upliftment of women in India. For instance, the Widow Remarriage Act of 1856 was the result of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s movement for improving the conditions of widows.
What Constitution of India says about Women Empowerment?
India’s Constitution makers and our elderly people in society were very particular to provide equal rights to both women and men. The Constitution of India is one of the finest equality documents in the world. It provides provisions to secure equality in general and gender equality in particular. Various articles in the Constitution safeguard women’s rights by putting them at par with men socially, politically and economically
Preamble The Preamble to the Constitution of India assures justice, social, economic and political; equality of status and opportunity and dignity to the individual. Thus it treats both men and women equal.
Conclusion and Suggestions
At the end, they are trying to find their own place under the sun and it is a heartening sign. Their participation in employment in government and private sector is appreciable.