The Failure of Bihar’s Women Education System
In Bihar, education seems to be improving. The literacy rate has gone from 47% to 61.8% according to 2001 and 2011 censuses, a massive improvement from what it was before. There are now fewer dropouts. There are more institutions for higher education. However, while there is an increase, an issue can be found when examined deeply. Women are not getting the same quality education that men are in Bihar.
While the increase in literacy is good, there is a divide among men and women. In Bihar, 71.20% of men are literate whereas only 51.5% of women are literate. There is a 20% margin between the two genders and this brings questions regarding the education system in Bihar and its equality, especially because Bihar is near the bottom when it comes to female literacy rates.
Women trying to get an education in Bihar faces many challenges. The first main one is the importance of women in agriculture. Women deal with crop production, livestock, and provide food and other necessities to their families. Due to their responsibilities, they struggle to find time to get a proper education.
Women also have fewer rights than men in Bihar and suffer from gender discrimination, inadequate healthcare access, lower income, limited inheritance, and land rights. Even further, these women have poor school environments. They have unpotable drinking water and toilet facilities, improper building, and a lack of teachers. Not only do they have a lack of teachers, but they also lack female teachers, who are safer for girls and protect them from abuse and exploitation.
If a girl were to enroll in a school, chances are, she would have to drop out. Data shows that as students age, the amount of women decreases while the number of men remains unchanged. The cause for this is that girls share the responsibilities of their families and must learn skills. They must work and are discouraged from getting an education.
Another issue is that female child are valued less than male children. Part of this is due to the dowry system. In this system, the wife's family must give gifts such as cash or property to the husband’s family. This takes a financial toll on the wife’s family. Women are viewed as a financial burden due to this system, leading to the neglect of female children.
Another thing that leads to the neglect of female children is that women live with the husband. On the contrary, the son cares for their parents, leading to parents caring far more for their male sons as they will be directly affected, whereas the education of the female child will not affect them as much.
In areas such as Bihar, women are neglected and their education suffers. They act as workers and providers for the family but lack education due to their great responsibilities. The discrimination of women in Bihar is prominent. With equality, better women's education can be fought for, the voices of women can be heard, and they will be able to improve their own lives.