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Dr. PRANITA SINGH (A.N.D.T.T.C. SITAPUR) When the concept of „Ardha-narishwar‟ in Hindu mythology came into existence, it must have been imagined that the god could not be a male alone who could create a world,make it such a beautiful place to live in .He ought to have the characteristic of female. Also it must have been imagined that without the duo ,this creation was not possible . So the place of a feminine in this world was created and respected for long time. There is enough historical evidences are found that shows a matriarchal social system in the Indian society .But with the advent of time the matriarchal social system was replaced by a patriarchal one & it became so deep rooted and distorted that it diminished the status of a living female to merely an object. Such status of females is found not only in India but all over the third world .The gender inequality has become a serious issue now because the other related issues like polygamy, feoticide and honor- killing are popping up at a faster rate.It is internationally accepted that gender in equality affects economic growth ,poverty and governance adversely. Most of the nations are making policies to step into next century with an identity of developed nation. India and China are one of these countries which are preparing their population to be used as human resources . For this they have chalked out and implemented many policies .However no country can succeed in its goal of development if the 50% of its population remains illiterate or uneducated. Vice Admiral Rickener pointed out "the progress or decline of a country is a function of education ...."And to realize the democratic goals of nation and society, the equality and opportunities and equality of starting points towards meaningful career for the citizenship ,equalization of education is must. The inequality towards women in the society may be seen in different forms. To eradicate these differences, Education was used as means. However, the problem is not so easy to be solved .To begin with early childhood education studies have tried to trace the origin of gender inequality in early childhood education (Chandrow 1978, Pilburn 2006, Gurian 2001). It was found that in most societies the ECE for young children are primarily female obligations (UNDAW, 2004). The gender attributes and roles are being defined by stereotypic curricular content, study materials and formal education experiences (Pilburn 2006). But when the efforts are made to impart gender equality through curricular, an informal learning through media exposure transmits the differences between boys and girls. The media markets on boy‟s character of the aggression, power, conflict, and make violence and female characters of softness, homely and submissive behaviors. It discourages or even deters boys to embrace or cultivate their roles as caregivers, nurturers and accept the fact that there could be a male teacher in ECE (Sargent 2004).
Considering the secondary education, the ratio of girls students to the boys students is always skewed. Obviously girls school are there but the no. of girls schools are still countable..These existing girl‟s schools are also at far distances from the home of the girls . Improper transport facilities have also added to the woes of women education .Parents focus on early marriages of girl child mostly leads to termination of education .Traditional views of not only parents but also the teachers about girl education like study only to get married off well are also seen. Study for better future or for self has never been given way. The quality of education had never been issue for girls. They had to take what was given to them ultimately depending on their parents for every decision of their life including their education. In higher education where the girls have grown up to adult women having the right to vote, elect the political representatives for themselves but could not vote for themselves. In the higher education also a traditional prospective of nature of education, it‟s aim and objectives, results in the exclusion of it concern for community & social actions. The role education of creating and spreading social awareness and values like equality & social justice has been subsided. It is more focused to the functional or vocationalization strategy. Lack of interdisciplinary board of studies at higher education, the bureaucrats red tapism within the university and non sympathetic attitude of advisory committees towards women equality strategies have hindered the implementation of many plans. There had been a lack of political support to the women education with little or no support financially or politically, from the university authorities. Values like gender equality, gender balance & gender justice have not emerged at centre stage in the university system, limited no. of female teachers,Principals and higher authorities, lack of decision making in the higher education system for gender equality is also visible. A section of decision makers pose a definite resistance to incorporate women‟s issues within the curriculum , for fear of creating awareness against existing social and general inequities and of making empowered and resistant women societies .Lack of proper literature especially in Indian languages and poor documentation of resources have left the women education in midway. Reluctance of institutions and parents to let women students and teachers to involve in survey or field work researches has only delayed better results. There had been a continuous paucity of persons prepared to teach and guide students who are keen to pursue research on the women question. Lack of support is visible in faculty level, peer level and the administration level. Financial constrains are one of the main hindrance for all higher education improvement plans for women. So the journey of women education is no less than walking on thorns. Why the education of women is no easy journey .Various factors that affect the gender inequality in education can be mainly categorized into four types
1. Socio economic factors: which include poverty, cost of education, low cost of return, requirement of girls for household chores, remote area residence, limited employment opportunities for higher education and less pay for the women employment. 2. Cultural factors: Girl‟s education regarded as incompatible with traditional beliefs, low education level of parents, early marriages, early pregnancies, and practical pole of women as daughter, mother and wife, attitude towards the outcome of education of girls. 3. Political factors: it include budget constraints, structural adjustments programs; insufficient public support for the poor; political instability and inconsistent education policies; bad adaptation of educational system to local needs. Lack of clear strategy for women and girl education. 4. Institution related factors: it includes limited school and classroom space ,institutional fees and untrained teachers ,non gender sensitive teacher , conflict of school tradition with traditional culture orientation of the girls to non scientific fields ,lack of accommodation or exclusion of pregnant , adolescent or young mothers . Sexual harassments, insecurity, distance from school, poor toilet and hygienic facility and no synchronous school calendar. All of the above factors need to be confronted and overcome. All of the above challenges are the very rational for a proper education structure for women. This required redefining the role, functions and expectations of women education. Efforts to change the women education situations, 1- CEDAW and other institutions have tried to change the condition of women education. 2- Establishment of girls‟ education institutions cannot be denied. 3- Exemptions of girls from certain extent of fees are also seen in all levels. 4- Scholarships to certain other disciplines (non-girl type) like technology etc. Are also being sponsored. 5- Educated parents are allowing their daughter to choose for their carrier and research options. 6- Marriage age in educated families is shifting. WHAT MORE IS NEEDED :1- A positive external environment is needed for a successful women's movement 2- Teachers, researchers, students, stake holders, conscious of women, women education objectives & participated actively in moment. 3- Visible presence of teachers, researchers who have already worked on women issues by researchers & writings.
4- Dedicated dynamic gender sensitized leadership in the academic departments & administrations especially V.C‟s, deans, HOD‟S, principals are required to take initiatives 5- Committed directors, guides, teachers with previous experience, involvement in women issues prepared to take accountability. 6-Appropriate finances at all levels. 7- Creating awareness by researches, seminars, action. 8- Financial support to all the levels of girl‟s education from govt., semi-govt. institutions & donor agencies. 9- Developing proper strategy of national development program with women and the equal partner in the development. 10- Strict actions against culprits of sexual harassment, foeticides & female genocides. 11- Structuring teacher educator‟s curriculam emphasizing the women issues for creating gender sensitivity training. 12- Emphasizing higher education with young children in providing desired teacher behaviors .The student teacher's beliefs & attitude may play a major role in their behaviors Conclusion Gombe state Governor Mohammad Donjuma Goje expressed that not much progress has been made in attaining the required gender sensitive education which was among the objectives of Beijing platform for action. According to him “ Gender sen sitive education is the basis of empowering women to participated in meaningful national development , women who have been educated and given opportunities to excel in their corners , significantly augment the stock of income ,look after families better , make their committees more compassionate among other things . Making to the root as Pilburn 2006 remarks “ promoting gender balance in ECE makes the sense because it supports family centered practices not withstanding qualities that differentiate gender , reflects the values the field places on diversity and anti bias philosophies ,fosters and more inclusive and diverse work force and important , shapes children who will become adults” . With a hope of brighter globe for women education we need to pledge to provide gender sensitive, equal opportunity to girl education. Gender inequality can be removed only when there is awareness awakening among the society towards values like equity & social justice brought through education it surely needs to overcome the patriarchal challenges. A mutual responsibility of society is also realized to avoid any repetition of „Aradhana‟ case.
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