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Need to feminize education to empower women and provide equatable learning
In many seminars and group discussions which I attended and spoke at, the need for feminizing education has been stressed upon since it is being believed that the nature of education is basically feminine, based on caring and sharing values.

Consequently, we need to make a paradigm shift from lecture model of classroom instruction and competitive institutional environment to cooperative and collaborative learning methods with pycho-socially rich classroom environment.

The main observations, articulated voices, reactions on feminist models of learning and institution environment indicate what should be the future direction of education. Often, it is articulated that there is a glaring gender disparity in education because of male-dominated learning environment and to much emphasis on abstract knowledge.

Also, there is a need to take action in society also to remove the gender bias against the female child. The patriarchal practices are needed to removed through sensitisation and attitude change initiatives instead of tokenism.

Some of prominent voices head in the seminars and academic circles note down by are as follows.

  • Women issues need to be provided space in educational policy making for moving towards an equitable society.

  • Gender budgeting and self-help group or peer-group learning strategies are not enough for women empowerment. There is a need for equal participation of women in decision making along with removal of discrimination against them.

  • Average women marriage age of girls in India is risen from 15.5 years to 15.6 yeas in the last ten years. That is a marginal change and should be an aye opener for making a change in women development strategies.

  • To empower women there is a need for social and attitudinal change to make an effective use of resources and budget for gender equity. Such changes are often slow and uncomfortable at times.

  • There is also a need for programmes for adolescent girls who have emerged as a much neglected section of society.

  • The community focus is required regarding killings of the girls.

  • Under the name of women empowerment if the right things are not don't, it will become a hackneyed and jargonized word. There is a need to create awareness about the potential of women. They must be recognized as central to human development. Mothers generally get ignored when we exclusively talk of health and education of children.

  • In society, it is often thought that what is right for men is also right for women. There is need to reverse this thinking and we need to now realize what is right for women are always right for men.

  • Women and inactive in since they lack articulation are unable to access schemes and have low self-image, self-esteem and social image. The entry point to women empowerment should be through raising their self image. Women know their needs but due to the mismatch between their idiom and mainstream idiom their needs are not understood properly.

  • If current system of education alone brings about gender equity then why has not men's education made them acquire gender sensitivity leading to gender equity. The question is therefore, what kind of education can lead to gender equity. The main lacuna is that the system of education is not clear about the vision of society it wishes to create through education. If the vision of education is to create a society with respect for women that 'respect' becomes the value of education.

  • The programme for adolescent girls can be good entry point for women development through reflective activities which can be helpful to alter their self-image. There has to be an opening up dimension in the programmes for adolescent girls. A shift of this kind may produce discomfort but the programmes must have the spirit to absorb the discomfort.

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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