Importance of Education for Women in India

Y Sunita Devi 3m 820 #education

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Education for Women Brings Education To The World

“Educate a woman and you educate an entire generation” ― Brigham Young

Education plays a critical role in the development of a nation whether it is social or economic growth. A nation can be educated in the real sense of the term, when its entire population is educated.

Over the years, India’s literacy rate has improved manifold from 12% in 1947 to 74.4% in 2011, even though the literacy rate is still below the average of 84% around the world. As per the 2011 census report, out of 778,454,120+ individuals who are considered literate in India, 444,203,762+ of them are male and 334,250,358+ are female.

If you look at the percentage of educated people, there is a huge gap between male (82.14%, in 2011) and female (65.46%, in 2011) literacy rates in India. A lower women literacy rate has a huge negative impact on the overall growth and development of society, where women are majorly responsible for child care and development.

As per the research results, it has been proven that children who are taken care of by educated mothers are well-nourished and have a well-rounded development. Though slow to progress, in the last decade (2001-2011) the gender gap is seen to be narrowing rapidly with the women literacy rate growing at 11.8% and men at 6.9%.

Why Education is Indispensable for Women

As per a UN report, education for women is the single most effective way to improve lives and health of the family and society at large. A woman with education is a powerful person, with the power to educate the children in her family, guide them in decision making, contribute economically, and offer valuable input for improvement on home and the social front.

Women constitute almost half of the country’s population, but when 50% of the population is denied education, the nation remains underdeveloped. Empowered women contribute to the development and betterment of society, community, and nation in numerous ways.

Education is the most important power that shapes the lives of mankind. Education empowers by granting the ability to think, reason, make appropriate decisions, and protect oneself from oppression and abuse. In most of the developing world around the globe including India, women are often denied educational opportunities.

Women constitute 48% of the total population in India with the women literacy rate in urban areas being 79.11% as against 88.76% for males, and the figures are even lower in the rural scenario, where 57.93% of women are literate as against 77.15% of literate males.

In 2014, the India GDP growth ranges were between 4.6% – 5.3% (1st – 3rd Quarter) and this growth percentage can be drastically improved if women are educated and start contributing equally economically.

Benefits of Women Education

There are numerous benefits of women education. Here are few of them:

  • Women who are educated are able to take charge of their future
  • Women who are educated are more likely to earn a living and contribute to their family income
  • Women who are educated help reduce child and maternal mortality
  • Women who are educated are better equipped to take care of their children and families
  • Women who are educated are less likely to be taken advantage of which lowers exposure to domestic abuse and violence
  • Women who are educated have greater confidence and are more likely to make good decisions
  • Women who are educated contribute in a positive way to society and the nation at large
  • Women who are educated and included in key decision-making positions make holistic decisions for the advancement, betterment, and development of society
  • Women who are educated, specifically women in politics, tend to have different growth dimensions


“Educating a man is educating a man… educating a woman is educating a nation.” Many surveys and studies worldwide have demonstrated that educating women is the single most profitable investment in terms of the well-being and health of children, community welfare, and the building of long-term success in developing countries.

Education opens a whole new world of opportunities for a woman, giving her the confidence to tackle different problems in life, become economically independent, make better choices, resolve family or community issues satisfactorily, stand for her rights, and guide her children to a better life.

Over the years, the literacy rate among Indian women has increased and as per an article in one of India’s leading newspapers, women enrollment for higher studies have increased from 10% (during Independence) to 41.5% in 2011. The Indian government has launched a number of programmes to encourage primary, secondary, and higher education for women. However, the progress is, albeit slow, but moving steadily.

The journey to become a successful nation begins with Universal Education for Women. India can reach its true potential as a nation only when its women population are equipped with the power and tools of education.

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