Dr. MK Vajpayee
Co-Chairman, Assocham National Council on Education, Delhi
Read in our article about Women Empowerment and the role of education in achieving it in an exclusive article by M.K Vajpayee and co-written by Vishal Sood, Professor of Management.
Education can help to uplift the status of Indian women in our complex society. Discrimination against women is known widely from the womb to her tomb.
In a country as largely populated as India, women occupy a significant amount of the population and most of these women are uneducated due to some of the other reasons. This, in turn, results in discrimination and mistreatment of the women in our society. If the Indian women want equality and respect for their skills, hard work, and experience, education would play a vital role as it is the stepping stone for women empowerment. It will help women ensure themselves their prosperity, development, and welfare. Education will also make women independent and more reliable.
In our Indian culture, we generally witness that the women are responsible for the management of the house, day to day economic affairs and in control of the family budget. The Indian household is very dependent on the women of the house so much so if the women don’t cook for the people, they’ll probably end up starving. This clearly shows how well women can handle responsibilities and are better than men in managing things.
Now wonder, what will happen if these women are educated?
If India wants to achieve its vision to be a developed country by 2025, then the focus should be on educating women since it will play an important role towards this change. If they are educated they will be able to manage the budget more efficiently which finally affects their economic growth and overall development. Indian women will also become a game changer for the Indian GDP struggling in the International market. Most of the unemployed women can find jobs suiting their skills hence increasing the manpower of India and increasing the growth rate of India.
ILLITERACY: THE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS
Most women are uneducated in India due to many reasons. Some never got a chance to get an education, some due to gender discrimination, some just get primary education and some were married off early at a tender age. Therefore it is important that we understand the current scenario of the women education in India, presently a non-formal form of education prevails in our country where out of school children and illiterate adults especially women can learn how to read and write.
Most of the illiterate women belong to the underprivileged sector of the society. Hence, education hasn’t been considered the foremost need in these households instead the survival of the family had been taken as a priority over education. The women of these families are daily-workers and they start working from a tender age where they should be going to schools. Women also have other family responsibilities like to take care of their children and family members. Women in our Indian society and culture have to take such family responsibilities, hence the basic schooling is ignored. This is the biggest issue and reason for the increased number of women illiteracy in India.
HEALTH EDUCATION: FOR THE CARETAKERS
An educated woman will have more awareness of different types of health issues and their remedies, precautions, vaccinations etc. that are available for their benefits. Economic development is also concerned with such issues. Mostly, it has been noticed that an illiterate person may not keep themselves abreast with health problems and because of this reason suddenly they face health issues and spend a huge amount of their saved money on treatments which also leads to financial issues for the family in the future. In many cases, they take loans from local businessmen instead of a bank or sell their properties. It is a very painful exercise in an urgent medical situation and for this, a heavy cost is put on the family’s head. An educated man or woman can clearly avoid this unwanted situation.
It is equally important to be socially aware of such things. An educated woman gains a conscience which makes her socially aware of her surroundings and her rights hence empowering her.
NON FORMAL EDUCATION : A SAVIOUR IN DISGUISE ?
In a developing country like India, Non-Formal Education (NFE) is widely practised. NFE is an educational system organized outside the formal system of the Indian education system. The learners of NFE are from various different backgrounds. This system is flexible and can be delivered at any place at the comfort of the student. Hence, this system is very suitable for the underprivileged women of the Indian society that are partly working as labours, domestic workers, caretakers etc. This is designed intelligently to meet the basic learning needs of underprivileged groups and can be availed at any age. NFE is important for the education and empowerment of women.
These are few points that if addressed can make NFE model a huge success :
- Management issues- Both financial and work
- Monitoring problem
- Ownership issues
- Social issues for women learners
- Learners’ issues
- Maintenance issue.
- Security and safety issues
- Make the program easy to learn, operate and manage.
- Flexible timing
- Job opportunity
- Easy to run by anyone
- Free from complications like bank accounts, funds, lease, rent, etc.
- Open for all groups of male and female.
In the coming years, India can turn over the gold leaf again if the women of this country are educated.
Do you think so too?