«GENDER EQUALITY IN EDUCATION N. SANTOSH RANGANATH*; DR. K. ATCHYUTA RAO**; DR. N. SRINIVAS*** *Faculty Member, Department of Commerce and Management ...»
International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research
Vol.1 Issue 6, October 2011, ISSN 2231 5780
GENDER EQUALITY IN EDUCATION
N. SANTOSH RANGANATH*; DR. K. ATCHYUTA RAO**; DR. N. SRINIVAS***
*Faculty Member, Department of Commerce and Management Studies,
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh – 532410.
**Faculty Member, Department of Commerce and Management Studies, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh – 532410.
***Faculty Member, Department of Education, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh – 532410.
INTRODUCTION: RIGHT TO EDUCATIONEducation is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights. As an empowerment right, education is the primary vehicle by which www.zenithresearch.org.in economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and obtain the means to participate fully in their communities.
The right to education bridges the division of human rights into civil and political on the one hand, and economic, social and cultural, on the other hand. The right to education is a civil and political right since it is central to the full and effective realization of all human rights and freedoms. In this respect, the right to education epitomizes the indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights. Even the Human Rights, which is generally considered to cover only civil and political rights issues, states that „no person shall be denied the right to education‟. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes in its
ZENITHInternational Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.1 Issue 6, October 2011, ISSN 2231 5780 General Comment that increasingly education is appreciated as one of the best financial investments states can make as it has a vital role in empowering women, safeguarding children from exploitative and hazardous labour and sexual exploitation, promoting human rights and democracy, protecting the environment, and controlling population growth.
Nevertheless, millions of children around the world still fail to gain access to schooling, and even larger numbers among those who do enroll, leave prematurely, dropping out before the skills of literacy and numeracy have been properly gained. A majority of such children are girls. As a result, the scourge of illiteracy still affects more than adults, almost two-thirds of whom are women. The General Assembly reiterated the importance of literacy as a human right and an indispensable element for economic and social progress while appealing to all governments to redouble efforts to achieve their own goals of education for all, by setting targets and timetables, where possible, including gender-specific education targets and programmes to combat the illiteracy of women and girls.
Educational inequality is a major infringement of the rights of women and girls and an important barrier to social and economic development. The global struggle for universal education is nearly 61 years old. It was recognized as a right in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which states that “everybody has the right to education.” The UDHR also declared that elementary education should be free and compulsory, and that the higher levels of education should be accessible to all on the basis of merit. This provision was followed up by the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, adopted in 1960, which placed the right to education in a binding treaty for the first time. Under article 4 of the UNESCO Convention the right to free and compulsory education is guaranteed, and States parties “undertake … to formulate, develop and apply a national policy, which … will tend to promote equality of opportunity and of treatment in the matter of education”.
The right to education is protected comprehensively under articles 13 and 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) which also enshrines a prohibition on discrimination based on sex, both in law and in fact. The two most recent conventions – CEDAW in 1979 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC in 1990) – contain the most comprehensive set of legally enforceable commitments concerning both rights to education and to gender equality. By mid-2003, some 173 countries had ratified CEDAW, whereas the CRC has been ratified by all the nations of the world with the exception of Somalia and the United States.
GENDER INEQUALITIES THROUGH OUT THE WORLDwww.zenithresearch.org.in There are very few places in the world where women are denied a formal right to education. However, as is already established, formal equality is inadequate to ensure and guarantee equality of rights between men and women. Even when the state provides girls with access to education, gender discrimination can be reinforced by practices such as a curriculum which is inconsistent with the principles of gender equality, by arrangements which limit the benefits girls can obtain from the educational opportunities offered, and by unsafe or unfriendly environments which discourage girls‟ participation. True equality in education requires the development of specific and effective guarantees to ensure that female students are provided with access to the same curricula and other educational and scholarship opportunities as male students.
ZENITHInternational Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.1 Issue 6, October 2011, ISSN 2231 5780 To promote gender equality and parity in education, states must target their efforts not only toward education itself, but also toward society‟s cultural and institutional framework.
For example, in many countries, parents do not expect their daughters to have careers outside the home. Consequently, girl-children are encouraged to leave school after completing only a basic or elementary education. In addition, if the benefits of schooling for boys far outweigh those for girls, economically disadvantaged parents will typically choose to send only the male to school.
States should reduce the financial burdens of sending female children to school, and should reform the education system so that it no longer creates or permits the existence of separate standards and opportunities for females and males. States parties have an obligation to eliminate gender-role stereotyping in and through the education system, and they must close the existing gap in education levels between men and women. States should create programmes which give women the opportunity to return to school after pregnancy, though the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education noted that the “frequent clash between societal norms which pressurises girls into early pregnancy, and the legal norms which aim to keep them in school makes this phenomenon difficult to tackle.” National governments and ministries of education should ensure that gender issues form part of all teachers‟ education curriculum. It should also form part of the primary, secondary, and tertiary education as well as in-service training curriculum.
GENDER, ICT AND DEVELOPMENTThe role of new information and communication technologies (ICT) and e-commerce in driving the global economy is widely recognized: ICT and the Internet reach many people, have a wide geographical coverage and are efficient in terms of time and cost. They facilitate access to markets, commercial information, new processing technologies and knowledge. In the developing world, the use of ICT and e-commerce seems to be particularly attractive to women owning small enterprises. These female entrepreneurs are now able to use ICT to identify new business opportunities or communicate with potential clients.
Aside from telephony services, women's handicrafts businesses could also be developed using business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce. Several success stories of B2C endeavours have been found in South Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East in the areas of clothing, bakery, gifts and other handmade products. Using the Internet, women are able to tap into new markets while saving time and money otherwise spend on travelling or selling in the local markets. For small home-based businesses the Internet offers information and networking opportunities that could make these endeavours profitable rather than www.zenithresearch.org.in marginal. The ability of women to earn income at home while raising a family – with the technology to communicate inexpensively with customers around the world, and handle accounting and order processing online – is adding to the attraction of the Internet for women business owners.
ICT and e-commerce offer substantial possibilities to improve the lives of women (and their families) in developing countries. Gender equality is having the objective to enhance women‟s participation in the digital economy and thus increase national capacity and achieve greater economic development and growth.
ZENITHInternational Journal of Multidisciplinary Research Vol.1 Issue 6, October 2011, ISSN 2231 5780
GENDER-RELATED PROBLEMS IN EDUCATION
Though we cannot speak of gender-related problems in education in terms of access, students‟ enrolment or performance in the Universities, there are still some areas where gender balance should be encouraged, like the representation of girls and women in science and mathematics; and to ensure that those already in scientific and research careers find their careers, prospects and rewards sufficiently satisfactory to keep them there. Gender (in) equalities in higher education and research has become an issue of growing policy concern since the late 1990s. Statistics and research have shown that gender equality has not been achieved in higher education quantitatively or qualitatively. This is so despite the fact that women have made great gains in higher education during the last decades. In the beginning of the 21st Century, women account for more than half of graduates in higher education through out the world.
Despite this great potential for job creation and development, only those who can afford the new technologies, and have the skills to use them, will benefit, while the poor risk being marginalized. Given that women make up the large majority of the poor worldwide, any strategy to increase their participation in the digital economy would increase national capacity and help raise the national standard of living. The large majority of women in developing countries are “employed” by the informal economy (street vendors or women working at home on, for example handicrafts and sewing). Reaching these women will be the major challenge for policy makers trying to bridge the digital – and particularly the gender digital – divide.
Among the key barriers faced by women are access to education, skills and training, access to the technologies themselves (both hardware and connectivity) and other constraints such as those related to knowledge of foreign languages (i.e. access to Internet content) or lack of financial resources to acquire access.
GENDER EQUALITY FOR THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
There have been many changes in India since the country gained its independence from Great Britain in 1947, the most impressive being the rise of the Indian economy. But not all facets of Indian life have enjoyed the same advancement; health, education and other human development issues have not seen the growth that the economy has enjoyed. India will not realize the full benefit of an improving economy until the lives of the Indian people improve. How can a county become an economic superpower when its people remain among the worlds poorest?
www.zenithresearch.org.in The inequalities that exist among region, social class and gender prevent the growth of the Indian economy from improving the lives of many everyday Indian people. Nowhere is inequality more evident than in the lives of Indian women, and likewise, there is no sector more affected by the lack of improvement in social issues.
The differences in the health, education and standards of behavior between the men and women of India, all contribute to the impairment of women‟s ability to improve their economic situation. The continued perception that women are not of value hinders women‟s ability to fully participate in the economy. The economic discrimination that the women of