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The Right of a Girl Child to Education

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Benjamin Franklin

What is a person without knowledge, without education? Nothing, right? In today’s world, where education and technical skills sets rule, it is indeed disheartening and eye-opening to see that even in this top-notch, highly digital world there are still over 781 million people who fail to attain even basic education. While the number is quite high, the highlight of these statistics is that in this figure of 781 million, more than or over two-thirds of illiterates are women.

Yes, you heard it right, they are the same women who give birth to a man and contribute a major share to create the world we live in. They bear humongous pain and contribute in a million ways to create this huge world and then also we believe in keeping this same woman, the revolutionary force, away from her right to basic education; a weapon that can completely change a person’s life, helping him/her to create a life that he/she aspires to live.

Introduction

Education is indeed a powerful tool, a tool that has the capacity and the power to transform one’s thinking process, the way he/she perceives the world, the way he/she aspires to live, helping them make this world of theirs and ours a happy and a better place to live. Despite knowing the huge advantages of this pious and revolutionary weapon, we still fail to use it at our best, by depriving the force of our nation with this basic amenity. Gone were the days when a person could survive with food, clothes, and house; today it is the existence of education that gives humans the power to create a livelihood for him/her.

India with a literacy rate of over 70 percent still fails to provide and boost female education in India, all thanks to the never-ending, senseless gender inequalities, created by the society of patriarchs who still believe that education, like a treasure, can and should only be accessed by the male counterparts of the society, with the women suiting the household chores, a custom and practice that the patriarch society has set for these girls. It’s sad that even after so many developments in the country we still fail to fulfil one basic duty which every society should fulfil which is to provide every girl child with the basic and essential education that she deserves.

The Journey

Women have constantly been considered as a secondary or a non-essential party whose major task is to help their male counterparts and families by performing the basic household tasks and several other ‘girly tasks‘, as prescribed by the male-dominated society. Thus, to change the structure and the complete mindset of people, providing the very much required education to the girl child is essential. It is a huge challenge, the accomplishment of which requires dedication and willingness not only on the part of the Government but also on the part of the people of the society who still fail at using the education they have attained, widening their perspectives and showing their willingness to create a world dominated by the principles of equality rather than those of patriarchy.

To start the revolution, the Government started its series of initiatives by beginning from the very basics and making ‘Girl Education‘ a necessary and an essential part of several important strategies like the five-year plans and several Constitutional Bills, taking its first step towards the goal. Though the plans and strategies looked quite promising and relevant on paper, the accessibility of it and implementation of it was still thousands of miles away.

Amidst the chaos and series of failed and poorly implemented strategies, the sixth five-year plan indeed came as a ray of hope. It did not just beat around the bush and it was a well-framed plan. It took initiatives that indeed brought a movement in society. It recommended and brought changes that stood correctly on behalf of both the parties, i.e. the Government and the society, by creating a system that helped the girl child both to study as well as to earn. The seventh five-year plan, continuing the principles of the sixth, expanded and modified it by creating a more flexible system, by introducing several thoughtful and prevalent operations like open learning, which though was not a perfect shot at providing the real education, but it still helped the females to free themselves from the tag of illiterate, giving them the power and mindset to look at the world and the entire system in a new light, empowering them, taking baby steps towards its goal of achieving female literacy.

The Battles Fought by a Girl Child

From struggling with huge household chores to fulfilling and compiling with the standard set by society, the path to attain education, despite the help of Government, is not an easy one, especially for a female. The five-year plans and strategies formulated to eliminate the long-lived gender inequalities is one thing, but its acceptance is another thing.

While the Government initiated a flexible system to impart the necessary education, the so-called male-led and patriarchal society also came up with a series of their own flexible systems in order to deprive females of their independence and basic rights. They did so by promoting child marriages and several other events that aimed at snatching women’s basic right to education. Lack of basic sanitary facilities, sex education, and several other religious practices and myths are some of the factors that further invites a series of many unwanted problems, thus, making the battle of achieving female literacy tougher than before. 

Conclusion

The only constant thing in this world is change.

Following the Government’s thoughtful policies and digital awareness in today’s world, the condition of the girl education system in India is at a much better place than in the past. The ever increasing digitalization has made people realize the importance and power of change, making them change, helping them realize that it’s useless to stick with the century-old and pointless traditions.

After all, education indeed opens our mind to new possibilities and opportunities that no one has ever thought about, helping us to expand and create a life filled with much more positivity, equality, and endless opportunities. A good education system, literacy programs for women, gender equality policies not only help us to create a morally strong society but also help us achieve many social, political and economic goals. Thus, highlighting how important it is to curb the issue of lack of women education in India, it can be said that to educate a woman is to educate the world.


Editor’s Note
The issue of female illiteracy is not a recent one and has been prevailing in Indian society since many decades now. In this article, the author throws some light on the importance of female education through certain eye-opening statistics. The pathway of Girl Education in India over these years has also been explained briefly. Further, the author has also enlisted certain issues faced by a girl child in India which consequently poses a challenge to Girl Education in India. The overcoming of these challenges and the change in the mind-set of certain sections of people in the society along with the effective implementation of Government policies and strategies for Girl Education in India is hoped for.

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