Literacy is essential to women’s lives; as a right and a skill. Literacy also constitutes an indivisible element of empowerment, especially for women from Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and other marginalised communities.
In today’s context, Adult Education is also intrinsically linked to livelihoods, skill building and digitisation, the lack of which can lead to a spiral of denial of rights and opportunities for women.
The apathy of state towards adult women’s literacy as a fundamental right will lead to further inequality of access and allocation of resources, services and entitlements that underprivileged illiterate women anyway struggle to acquire.
The proposed draft of National Policy for Women has one passing line on adult women’s literacy and then once more appears as a linking tool for livelihoods, etc.
It is sad to note that a country with more than 40% illiterate women population refuses to provide any prominent place or resources to adult women’s education; that too in its women’s empowerment policy.
We hope that the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) will take a serious note of the condition of Adult Women’s Education of the country and will create ways and means of incorporating Adult Education in its agenda. If empowerment has to become a sustainable and reality of women’s lives, then investment in Adult Education is imperative.