Education is an essential part of everyone’s life. Whether it is a boy or a girl, education helps a person learn new things with skill and learn about the world’s facts.
Education plays a vital role in the protection of women’s rights. It also helps to prevent discrimination based on gender. It is indeed the first step to give women the right to choose the way they progress. Men and women are like two aspects of the coin, and they need equal opportunities to contribute to the country’s development.
If we look at our own country, we are far from achieving gender equality. A girl child, especially in rural India, is often seen as a liability, a ‘burden’ to pass on. Given the prevailing influence of patriarchal values, right from their birth, many girls bear the brunt of gender inequality, gender stereotypes and are treated inferiorly, as compared to boys.
No matter how talented and ambitious she is, the girl child often receives the shorter end of the stick. Many girls are not sent to school in fear of exploitation and abuse and kept at home only to be married off early. And even if she is not married off, the young girl is still denied a deserving education, quality healthcare, employment opportunities and equal rights that a boy easily gets. While some girls manage to ‘escape’ from the shackles and try to build a bright future, most resign to their ill fate.
While the government has been making efforts towards the same, we should make our own efforts to try and contribute/donate generously to organisations that are actively involved in raising awareness and making efforts towards girls’ education.
Pehchaan, the street school, is one such organisation that has been working towards this initiative for many years now. We should ask ourselves to partner with NGO’s to raise awareness about this cause and make education for all girl’s a reality in our country.
In our country, many people are unaware of how the education of the girl child can transform lives for the better. It is a sad state of affairs when people across socio-economic strata think investing in a girl child’s education is a waste of money. The fact that they would instead justify spending on their daughter’s marriage expenses or dowry instead of their education is even more disheartening.
Early education can be instrumental in shaping society towards progress. When a girl is educated, she is empowered. She can make decisions for herself, raise the standard of living for her family and children, generate more employment options, and reform society. Therefore, a change in the mindset towards girls’ education in India is the need of the hour. Every girl child must be educated and treated equally with love and respect.