India, the second most populous country in the whole world, has a total population of 1,220,800,359 million people, of which 587.236.392 million are females between 0 years and 65 years and over, according to a July 2013 estimate provided by the CIA World Factbook.
Even though it is not a poor country anymore – the 4th most developed economy in the world, with a GDP of $4.761 trillion in 2012, education is still a long term challenge in India, especially for young girls and women. A 2009 Indian government report shows that the drop-out school rate was of 25% and includes girls and also poor and disabled children.
Although women’s education is as important as men’s education, girls are being banned from school by their families because of the attacks and the sexual assaults the girls are victims of. Being afraid that these attacks will affect a girl’s honor, the family prefers to drop her out of school.
Official numbers reveal the level of women’s education in India. School life expectancy for Indian girls, from primary to tertiary education, is of 10 years, while for boys is of 11 years. Studies also show that unemployment rate for young females between ages 15-24 is of 11.5%, while for young boys between same ages is of 9.8%.
The literacy rate for Indian people between ages 15 and over is of 61%. By sex, 73% of the Indian men can read and write, while 47% of the women are able to do these basic things. Nevertheless, a 2006 estimate brings out into open that mother’s mean age at first birth is 19.9 years, whereas a 2013 estimate unveils that every woman has 2.55 children.
Why is so hard for an Indian girl and or woman to go to school and complete her education? The answer is somewhere between a dozen of reasons: because most of the people in India think that women are chattels or property and because the government says girls should be educated but does too little in order to support them.
Another reason is that women in India are not united and very few stand up for what they believe in. Last but not least, because the fathers of these girls don’t care enough for their children so they rise up. In conclusion, because of the patriarchal mindsets that rules India.
Sita Anantha Raman, an Indian Professor Emeritus at Santa Clara University, in San Francisco, California, believes that the difference between men and women in India is even deeper. She maintains that Indian women who completed their education and work side by side with men receive less income for the same job. On the other hand, she is confident in the women power movement in India and in the NGO’s that support and demand greater and sustained support for equal access education between men and women.