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Education is a must for social and economic progress of women
Education is a weapon to enrich females with an awareness needed for social and economic progress. It is a constitutional responsibility for the government to provide elementary education to both males and females.

FEMALE EDUCATION is the cry of the day in 21st century, which is now being called a ‘Century of Women’. In going to enhance the level of girls' participation in education, the country has to achieve universal elementary education in the stipulated timeframe. Two new programmes, one targeting formal schools, the other targeting girls in remote habitations, have been launched by the Central government to include girls in elementary education.

The programme, launched in September 2003, provides additional components for education of girls at an elementary stage, especially from disadvantaged communities. It is a fundamental right of females to get education as the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002 makes elementary education a fundamental right of every child. The Constitutional Amendment itself clinches the argument for ensuring that all girls and boys receive eight years of good quality education.

Female education is a popular demand. Many surveys reveal that contrary to popular belief, poor parents in India are very keen on sending their daughters to school. The demand for girls’ education is high, and is growing. For the sake of individual well-being female education is required. Basic education promotes the well-being of girls. More educated women tend to be better informed, enjoy better opportunities for employment, and seek out modern healthcare and advice more readily.

Female education is needed for social and economic progress. Education brings benefits to society as well. Educated women are more likely to work in the wage economy, earn higher wages and make better entrepreneurs. Educated women tend to marry late and have fewer children, contributing to improved child and maternal health in society. Political participation – as more and more young girls get educated and complete eight years of schooling, they will be able to participate more meaningfully in local governance.

Female education ensures inter-generational benefits. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that educated mothers give birth to healthier and better-nourished children than uneducated mothers. An educated mother is more likely to send her own children to school so that benefits are reinforced across generations. Social Justice is impossible without ensuring female education. The link between educational deprivation and social inequality is becoming more and more obvious every day. Ensuring better schooling opportunities for girls is the right step towards ensuring social and gender justice.

According to the last census held in 2001, the percentage of female literacy in the country is 54.16%. The empowerment of girls and women through education is reflected in more than one of the six Dakar goals. A number of national and state level initiatives directed at girls and women have been the hallmark of educational interventions for improving the educational status of girls and women. Five of the most prominent factors responsible for poor female literacy rate are a) Gender based inequality b) Social discrimination and economic exploitation c) Occupation of girl child in domestic chores d) Low enrolment of girls in schools e) Low retention rate and high dropout rate. Literacy campaigns have heightened social awareness among women regarding the importance of education, both for themselves as well as for their children. As women come out of their homes and take part in the campaigns with great enthusiasm, they acquire a heightened sense of self-awareness and desire to gain knowledge of women's issues.

Literacy campaigns have motivated and encouraged women learners to educate their children, particularly girls, by enrolling them in formal schools. It has given women an opportunity to break the isolation which is socially structured into their lives, giving them a chance to meet other women and learn collectively, rather than learn singly as individuals. Literacy campaigns have helped to spread knowledge about healthcare and nutrition, thereby enabling mothers to keep their family in better health and to care better for their children.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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