Education of Rural Women: A study in regression

Gender is one of the most spoken, misunderstood and variably interpreted term in the present society. Men and women have a historical, mythological, social and philosophical construct to define their regular behavior. Over time, as the society moved towards civilization, rule of sword was replaced by rule of law thereby positioning the physically stronger and weaker on the same platform to run and rule the society. This transition brought along movements for women empowerment.

India has been advocating gender equality with Tarabai Shinde being the first feminist to eminent scholars like Kamla Bhasin in present times. India still has a set up significantly biased against women in almost all spheres of life. Rural women get double victimized because of their marginalization as the government is urban centric run by urban centres, alienating them from rural understandings. Despite the fact that India is primarily rural but the devolution of power happens from urban centres.

Indian Education system is also based on the needs and aspirations of people of urban setting. Education curriculum caters to train and educate people to become modern and responsible members of the society. The training is largely urban oriented and thus curriculum turns out as the root problem against attracting rural citizens to education. Here, women suffers more because of the patriarchal system where men have the choice to move across the fence according to their needs, desires, work. Our education system has failed to modify in accordance to the needs of the section it is being delivered to. Rural women aren’t motivated enough to enter an education system which may not be of any practical use to them. There is a dire need to alter the curriculum that can focus on issues of health, hygiene, food, self-employment that can substantially help rural women to make better of the resources they’ve got.

Apart from the ideological debate over perspectives of education, one must also focus on the environment and techniques used to tutor rural women. In a societal set up where women are treated to be secondary human beings, where is idea of patriarchy is deeply imbibed in the spirits of the family, one must provide education that moves away from such beliefs towards rationality in a step by step process with help of logic and reason. An outwardly divergent view from current practices may never hit the nail where it was supposed to but rather make people distant away from such modern education categorizing it to be western in outlook and a threat to their rationality.

The will of the government also matters in the success of education campaigns for rural women. The infrastructure is just the basics, government through its programs and schemes must get more inclusive in nature just like mid-day meals is to children. Specific promotion of education to rural women should be done to make it look meaningful to women despite their compulsory household work.

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