Benefits of Higher Education for Women
"Education is one of the most important means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process." Education is important for everyone, but it is especially significant for girls and women. This is true not only because education is an entry point to other opportunities, but also because the educational achievements of women can have ripple effects within the family and across generations. Investing in girls' education is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty. Investments in secondary school education for girls yields especially high dividends. Girls who have been educated are likely to marry later and to have smaller and healthier families. Educated women can recognize the importance of health care and know how to seek it for themselves and their children. Education helps girls and women to know their rights and to gain confidence to claim them. However, women’s literacy rates are significantly lower than men’s in most developing countries. The gender equity enshrined in the Constitution of India has helped greatly to reduce the gap between men and women. Access to higher education has enabled women to execute work on par with men. Higher education for women is necessary for character building, acquiring the ability to earn and the development of capacity for self-expression. Introduction and Scope
Over the past few millennia, the status of Indian women has been subject to many great changes. From a largely unknown status in ancient times through the low points of the medieval period, to the promotion of equal rights by many reformers, the history of women in India has been eventful. But looking at the education, it is immediately visible that the female literacy rate in India is lower than the male literacy rate. Compared to boys, far fewer girls are enrolled in the schools, and many of them drop out. According to the National Sample Survey Data of 1997, only the states of Kerala and Mizoram have approached universal female literacy rates. According to majority of the scholars, the major factor behind the improved social and economic status of women in Kerala is literacy. A modern Indian woman has to take care of two social spaces viz. marriage and occupation, both of which call for education as the primary requirement. The most damaging denial of opportunity that women in India suffer is the ability to receive an education. A woman’s lack of education certainly has an adverse affect on her family, most importantly on her children. Under Non-Formal Education programme, about 40% of the centers in states and 10% of the centers in Union Territories are exclusively reserved for females. In urban India, girls are nearly at par with the boys in terms of education. However, in rural India girls continue to be less educated than the boys. The International Institute for Population Sciences found that in India, infant mortality is inversely connected to the amount of education mothers received. India still has one of the lowest female literacy rates in Asia. The Indian government is committed to improving the education of girls and empowering Indian women through its constitution, amendments and even a National Policy for the Empowerment of Women. Regarding education for all, the main concern seems to be keeping girls in school. The differentials between primary school enrollments of boys and girls differ 12 percentage points, but that number grows to 23 percentage points beyond primary school. Additionally, many women also find it difficult to gain higher education and advanced degrees especially after marriage due to the commitments to the family. For working women, this also prevents them from getting promotions as the posts may call for higher degrees. In this paper, distance education is looked upon as a flexible and appropriate means to deliver education to the needy, especially women. This will...
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