If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family!

Reports estimate that more than 50 percent of girls in India fail to enroll in school and those who do are likely to drop out by the age of 12.As in a series of other aspects, the girl child is also discriminated against extensively in the right to education, even basic at times.

Lack of education denies the girl child, the knowledge and skills needed to advance their status. Education enables the child to realize her full potential, to think, question and judge independently; to be a wise decision-maker, develop civic sense and learn to respect, love his fellow human beings and to be a good citizen.

Figures also report that there is discrimination even in the field of higher education. At least a 40% of girls are not allowed to pursue higher studies, due to the conservative familial ideologies.

Other facts also put a light on this trend

  • Of the 1.3 billion people in poverty, 70% are women.
  • Women earn three-fourths the income that men earn in the non-agricultural sector.
  • Women occupy only 10% of the parliamentary seats and only 6% of cabinet positions in 55 countries around the world.
  • Of the total burden of work, women carry an average of 53% in developing countries and 51% in industrial countries.
  • Of the world’s 900 million non-literate persons, 65% are women due to the lack of educational opportunities.
  • Worldwide, 76 million more boys are enrolled in primary and secondary school than girls.

In many countries it is very much clear that the girl child is discriminated against from the earliest stages of life, through her childhood and into adulthood. It is more common in countries where men outnumber women and particularly in Third World Countries. In most Developing and Underdeveloped countries, girls are required to fulfil a vital role within the home and are often unable to attend school as well as complete their domestic tasks. They are often considered ‘temporary property’ as girls move to a husband’s home after marriage, it is not thought to be economically sound to invest in their future. It is considered more economically viable to spend money educating a son who will remain at home, than to expend hard earned funds on a child who will leave. Education for girls and women is an urgent priority as they  can play an essential part in the development of the economy and also because they harbour the future of the world in their wombs.

Why Girl Child does not get Education or Does not get Proper Education ?

  • Indifference in attitudes and practices against girl child including their health and well being.
  • Illiterate Parents and guardians have little awareness of the importance of education, particularly for girl children
  • Financial constraints of various types interfere in the education
  • Various domestic responsibilities along with the necessity to earn money from 13-14 years of age
  • Crisis at home snubs need to study, i.e. no parental support, densely populated houses with bad lighting
  • Peer pressure from non-school going friends who discourage the pursuit of education.
  • Lack of aspiration as the only professional options are the traditional one’s which don’t require education
  • Discrimination, or the perception of discrimination, by higher caste peers and teachers at school

Why Girl Child Education is important ?

The importance of the role of women in society cannot be overlooked. Especially important is their role as the traditional primary caregivers to children. When women are given the opportunity to have a voice in charting their own destinies, they can improve their lives and the lives of their children who are future of a country.

Educating a girl child removes some of the heavy burdens from poor families around the world as such a child is seen as a bread winner in most Third World countries.

  • Gender equality and the advancement of women has the potential to bring developments in all spheres of life like economy, health, care etc.
  • Girls become aware of family planning which is essential for proper care of the existing children.
  • Education also lowers infant mortality as numerous children die needlessly because their mothers were denied an education earlier in life
  • Women are at risk for early marriage and pregnancy and education will reduce maternal deaths in childbirth
What Steps can be taken so that a Girl Child gets Education ?
Parents and the community need to be fully convinced of the importance of education and motivated to send their children, particularly their daughters to school.Certain amendments are needed to be made in the Education Policies like ‘India’s Central Board of Secondary Education, which has already made a provision in its Examination Bye-Laws that girl candidates, who are bonafide residents of the National Capital Territory of Delhi can appear in Class X and Class XII Examinations of the Board as Private Candidates. In order to further promote education for girl child, an amendment in the Affiliation Bye-Laws of the Board has now been made that all the affiliated schools will grant full waiver of all fees (including tuition fee and all other fees under any head except the meals and transportation fee) charged by them from class VI onwards to each girl student who is also the single child of a parent. Similarly, it will be appreciated if the schools also consider extending 50% concession in these fees for every girl student who is one of two daughters who are also the only two children in a family. In addition to above, the school on its own can also waive such fees like transportation and meal fee.School staff needs to work closely with the target communities and applied a flexible approach as a tool to achieve the primary objective.
Social problems related to caste and associated financial and empowerment issues require long term, sustainable initiatives to help develop the perception of women within the community.Community leaders and extant groups should fully and actively support this cause.

By eradicating degrading and exploitative images of girls and women in the media and advertising. The values and models of behaviour that are portrayed contribute a lot to the perpetuation of inequality and inferiority.

Providing women with literacy and vocational training for income-generation.

Encouraging women to assume an increasing role in food security and income-generation. Through extensive training, women will be able to plant crops, market their produce and preserve surplus foods.

Training can be given to mothers in teaching other girls as well as others to implement not only academic education but also preventive health measures, treating Acute Respiratory Infection and administering Oral Re-hydration Therapy for their children.

Influence of various world renowned charities, NGO’s and organisations like the U.N. can have a great impact towards girl education.