August , 2023
Gross enrolment ratio of women in education improves in India
17:24 pm

Kuntala Sarkar

The share of girl’s enrolment which used to be less than 10% of the total enrolment on the eve of independence is now showing an increasing trend. ‘Annual Report 2020-21’, published by the Ministry of Education states that as per Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) (Female) is concerned, states such as Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and North-eastern states are leading. Additionally, according to the All India Survey of Higher Education (AISHE) report 2019-20, student enrolment at under graduate level has 50.8% male and 49.2% female, showing an improvement in female enrolment.

Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) improves

Report on Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) - 2021-22, by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, The GER (female) of primary was 101.8% in 2018-19 which increased to 104.8% in 2021-22. The GER (female) for upper primary in 2021-22 stood at 94.9%, which was 87.74% in 2018-19. The GER (female) for secondary has reached 79.4% in 2021-22, from 76.9% in 2018-19. Additionally, GER (female) at the higher secondary level has also shown improvement as it reached 58.2% in 2021-22 from 50.8% in 2018-19 showing a significant increase.

Women’s equality can add to global growth

Education makes women financially independent along with making them knowledgeable. A McKinsey Global Institute report, titled ‘The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in India’ states that India has a larger relative economic value at stake from advancing gender equality. The report says, “If all countries were to match the momentum toward gender parity of the fastest-improving countries in their region, US$12 trillion a year could be added to global GDP. What’s more, India could add US$700 billion of additional GDP in 2025, upping the country’s annual GDP growth by 1.4% points.” The McKinsey report also reveals that around 70% of the best in region potential would come from raising women’s participation in India’s labour force by 10% points between now and 2025, bringing 68 million more women into the labour force - 70% of them in just nine states. This will need to bridge both economic and social gender gaps.

Child marriage as a challenge

Child marriage is a challenge for women’s education in the country. Out of the 12.15 million children married in India, 8.9 million are girls, and married girls are three times the number of boys, while rural girls constitute 55% of married children. It certainly hampers her schooling. With government campaigns and Social Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC), this must be avoided for a better future. After the schools reopened, post-Covid, it is more important for the government to ensure and verify that girls are actually re-attending schools and do not just remain enrolled only 

on paper. 

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