How Did Education Help Women in India?

In India, women were not always allowed to read and write. But this changed when the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was launched. Now, women are learning, working and collaborating in all fields and making our nation proud.

What is Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan?

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) was launched by the former prime minister of India, Shree Atal Bihari Vajpayee which aimed at compulsory education of every child  between the ages of 6 – 14 years.This programme is also an attempt to provide an opportunity for improving human capabilities to all children through provision of community owned quality education in a mission mode. It started in 2002 and SSA has been operational since 2000-2001. However, its roots go back to 1993-1994, when the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) was launched, with an aim of achieving the objective of universal primary education. In 2018, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan along with Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan was launched to form Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan. This Abhiyan has also assisted all children, especially a girl child to realise her true potential.

Education’s role in a women’s life

The development rate of any country depends highly on the education of all its citizens. The education of both men and women is equally important as they are the two sides of a coin. We can never develop, if we think that women do not deserve a right to education. Due to education, reforms started in many girls and women’s lives. These reforms are described below.

Women started getting equal respect by everyone. Traditionally, the women’s work in a household was only limited to washing, cooking and taking care of the family. After education, women could participate in the financial discussion of the family, they could now give advice to all the family members. Because of this men of the family have started to consider them as their equals.

The stereotypes and prejudices related to women are slowly disappearing from our society. The tradition of sati has stopped completely because now women know that their life still has a meaning without their husbands. Dowry has also stopped in India. Women are no longer considered a weight on fathers shoulders. 

Women also became aware of the laws, rights and their duty towards the nation. They also raise their voice against many issues and fight for their rights. They learn about various schemes introduced by the government. They also participate in elections and generally win by a large percentage of votes. 

They no longer stay at home. Due to a good education, many companies and offices are willingly giving them jobs. They are becoming financially independent. Women do not depend on husbands to provide them. This also has helped to increase the overall income of a poor family. The country’s defence forces have also opened up for women and they have become the pride of the family by joining the defence forces. 

The woman who started it all – Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule was an Indian social reformer, educationalist, and poet from Maharashtra. She established the first women school in India and became the first woman teacher of our country. She is regarded as the mother of Indian feminism.

By India Post, Government of India – [1], GODL-India, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74738306

She worked to abolish the discrimination and unfair treatment of people based on caste and gender. She is regarded as an important figure of the social reform movement in Maharashtra.  Savitribai’s birthdate, 3 January, is celebrated as Balika Din in the whole of Maharashtra, especially in Girl’s Schools. She is an inspiration for all the women of India.