“When women are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.” -Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama, the former 1st Lady of the USA, is a strong advocate of women’s education and even goes on to link their education to the development and prosperity of the country. But is this true?
Well, according to S&P Global Marketing Intelligence’s international study, companies with women at the helm perform better than competing companies with men at the helm. Though women-founded companies get less investment, they generate more revenue according to BCG Analysis’ MassChallenege study, and business is the driving force behind a country’s prosperity.
So yes, Michelle Obama’s statement is true. India is also contributing to this truth. In the past few decades, girls getting educated, especially in the higher education sector, has taken our nation from strength to strength. But don’t just believe in statements. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Facts and Figures
Once a nation where women struggled for education and representation to a nation where women leaders are increasing by the day, India has come a long way in a short time. Some important milestones for the country are:
- WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2020 ranked India 18th in terms of political representation of women.
- 5 Companies in India’s Fortune 100 Companies are run by women CEOs.
- 40% undergrad students in science and 25% to 30% doing Ph.D. are girls.
Yes, the numbers are encouraging. But they will get even better in the near future. Today, 49% of college students are girls, which is an 18.2% increase in enrolment compared to 2014-15. India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, outperformed others with a statistic of 50.9% female students in college. Many experts speculate that the next few decades are going to see women dominate education and jobs, thanks to the encouraging numbers in higher education.
The government too is doing its part in promoting women’s education in the country. In the reformative NEP 2020, the Ministry of Education has plans to constitute the ‘Gender Inclusion Fund’. This fund is to ensure more girls have access to higher education, and 100% enrolment of girls in schools. But that’s not all. The fund will go further and be utilised in creating equal opportunity for women in society, reduce the gender gap, and push women to be in leadership positions. This is quite an ambitious fund that is set to bring about wonderful changes for women.
The NEP 2020 will revamp women’s education and their social standing in the country by doing the following:
- NEP 2020 will push for more women in the education sector in the positions of wardens, physical instructors, teachers, principals, and other important staff.
- Increase female teacher recruitment through alternative pathways without compromising qualifications and merit.
- Regular sessions to be conducted in all educational institutes to create awareness regarding:
- Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO)
- Prohibition of Child Marriage Act
- Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act
- Maternity Benefit Act
This is for the benefit of students, teachers, and administrators.
- NEP 2020 will also look to ensure increased safety measures on and off-campus for school-going girls. Educational institutes will be responsible for no dominance, discrimination, and harassment.
The NEP 2020 is set to make sweeping changes in the country’s education sector, and women will greatly benefit from them.
The Way Forward
Another huge contributing factor for girls in higher education is that private universities like Jagran Lakecity University, have been implementing measures stated by NEP 2020 since a long time before. Such universities are the ones responsible for girls constituting 49% of the population in colleges, providing equal opportunity for them in varied education streams.
Private institutes are also ahead when it comes to combating harassment, violence, and discrimination. There are special Women’s Cells run by professors that look into complaints by female students. These complaints are treated as a priority. The campus is also guarded by trained security personnel that also includes many female guards. This makes female students feel a lot safer on the university campus.
The Women’s Cell is also responsible for creating programs and arranging seminars that will boost morale and lift the spirits of not just female students but also all the women working on campus.
If today, girls represent almost 50% of the college population, this number will only get better with time when all the measures taken by the government get implemented, and more and more colleges and universities make provisions for encouraging girls’ education. We will see many more women-made startups (JLU also has a few) become multi-million and billion-dollar companies that will fulfil Michelle Obama’s words and make India one of the best countries in the world.
By – Team Communications,