The education of women in India plays a significant role in improving livings standards in the country the photographer Kristian Bertel learned in India. A higher women literacy rate improves the quality of life both at home and outside of home, by encouraging and promoting education of children, especially female children.
Improving girls' educational levels in India
Female education of women and girls is important connection to the alleviation of poverty. Broader related topics include single-sex education and religious education for women, in which education is divided gender lines. Inequalities in education for girls and women are complex because women and girls face explicit barriers to entry to school, for instance, violence against women or prohibitions of girls from going to school, while other problems are more systematic and less explicit, for instance, science, technology, engineering and mathematics education disparities are deep rooted.
Improving girls' educational levels in India has been demonstrated to have clear impacts on the health and economic future of young women, which in turn improves the prospects of their entire community.
Primary education is helping
The infant mortality rate of babies whose mothers have received primary education is half that of children whose mothers are illiterate. In the poorest countries of the world, 50 percent of girls do not attend secondary school. Yet, research shows that every extra year of school for girls increases their lifetime income by 15 percent. Improving female education and thus the earning potential of women, improves the standard of living for their own children, as women invest more of their income in their families than men do.
Yet, many barriers to education for girls remain. In some provinces in India, girls are unlikely to attend school for such basic reasons as a lack of private latrine facilities for girls.
"The education of women in India plays a significant role in improving livings standards in the country, because education increases a girl's life later, as she as a woman and her partner as she is aware of the family's level of health and health awareness"
Furthering women's levels of education and advanced training also tends to lead to delay initiation of sexual activity, first marriage and first childbirth. Moreover, more education increases likelihood to remain single, have no children or have no formal marriage while increasing levels of long-term partnerships. Women's education is important for women's health as well, increasing contraceptive use while lowering sexually transmitted infections and increasing the level of resources available to women, who divorce or are in a situation of domestic violence.
Interests in a responsible way
Empowerment is the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and in communities. This enables them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own authority. It is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights. Empowerment as action refers both to the process of self-empowerment and to professional support of people, which enables them to overcome their sense of powerlessness and lack of influence and to recognize and use their resources.
"Girls in India face discrimination both inside their homes and outside in their communities and poverty and gender-based preference are two of the main challenges which impact girl child education"
What are the reasons why girls in India do not go to school?
- Gender discrimination
- Distance from home
- Lack of toilets in schools
Poorly resourced public schools which suffer from high rates of teacher absenteeism may have encouraged the rapid growth of private and unaided schooling in India, particularly in urban areas. Private schools divide into two types such as recognized and unrecognized schools. Government 'recognition' is an official stamp of approval and for this a private school is required to fulfill a number of conditions, though hardly any private schools that get 'recognition' actually fulfill all the conditions of recognition.
The emergence of large numbers of unrecognized primary schools suggests that schools and parents do not take government recognition as a stamp of quality.
India has made progress
However, India has made progress in terms of increasing the primary education attendance rate and expanding literacy to approximately three quarters of the population. India's improved education system is often cited as one of the main contributors to the economic rise of India. Education of girls and empowerment of women in general in developing countries leads to faster development and a faster decrease of Population growth, thus playing a significant role in addressing environmental issues.
Education systems vary in administration, curriculum and personnel, but all have an influence on the students that they serve. As women have gained rights, formal education has become a symbol of progress and a step toward gender equity.
In order for true gender equity to exist, a holistic approach needs to be taken. The discussion of girl power and women's education as solutions for eliminating violence against women and economic dependence on men can sometimes take dominance and result in the suppression of understanding how context, history and other factors affect women.
About the author
Kristian Bertel is a photographer who currently has his residence in Denmark and he has traveled in India to photograph. Many of his photographs have a focus on the life conditions and the scenes of people in India are often pictured in humanitarian portraits by the photographer in cities and in the countryside of India.
More about the author