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Monday, October 26, 2020

Status of Women in India: Participation of women in curriculum committees poor, finds report

According to the report, ‘The Status of Women in India’, there are few women writers of chapters in social studies books. From Class VI to VIII, only 28 per cent content written by women authors was found in textbooks.

By: Express News Service | Pune | January 14, 2020 5:00:50 am
pune news, pune city news, maharashtra news, Status of Women in India, Participation of women, indian express news At the release of the report at Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir on Monday. (Photo: Arul Horizon)

The percentage of participation of women, in curriculum committees is “poor, non-significant and non-influential”, a new report has found.

According to the report, ‘The Status of Women in India’, there are few women writers of chapters in social studies books. From Class VI to VIII, only 28 per cent content written by women authors was found in textbooks.

The Sanskrit curriculum for Classes VI, VII and VIII saw content authored by only 16 per cent women while lessons written by women constituted only 6.8 per cent of Class IX textbooks .

The report was prepared by Drishti Stree Adhyayan Prabodhan Kendra (women’s studies centre), which studies the condition of women and prepares reports and recommendations on women.

The function where the report was released was held at Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir on Monday. The report was released by RSS joint general secretary Dr Krishna Gopal.

The report states that while much has been written about Aryabhatta, not enough has been covered about his daughter Lilawati, who was also a great mathematician. In ‘history’, the report states, due place has not been given to women’s contribution. It cites the examples of Zalkari, a friend of Rani Laxmibai, and Jijabai, the mother of Shivaji.

Among other findings are how female literacy rate has increased from 64.6 per cent (Census 2011) to 79.63 per cent, but the gender gap in education remains a major issue.

Marriage and financial difficulties were among the major reasons why women were discontinuing education, the report said.

Dr Maneesha Kothekar, project director of the study, said Drishti had initiated the survey two-and-a-half years ago and it was conducted across 29 states, where as many as 74,095 women were interviewed.

Of these, 43,255 women were above 18 years and were the main unit of analysis across three parameters of health, education and employment status. The study sample covered women from various fields — spiritual, tribal, border areas, conflict areas(internal), scientists, education, teachers, women from slums, agriculture, domestic workers and homemakers, among others.

Only 54 per cent women from North East have Aadhaar

On topics like Aadhaar card, the study found that 90.62 per cent women had an Aadhaar card. According to the study, 79 per cent women have individual bank accounts. While it is a positive sign of economic empowerment, Dr Krishna Gopal said special efforts have to be taken in certain areas, especially in urban slums and tribal pockets, where, according to the study, fewer women have individual bank accounts.

1/10th working women face sexual harassment

The study reported that more than one tenth of working women face sexual harassment at their workplace and most of them do not have internal complaint committees. On the issue of women’s security Gopal said, “India’s rich heritage is among the many reasons why status of women was so high in ancient times. She was the ghar ki rani, the axis of the family. However, what has happened to those sanskars, why are women oppressed? Every child in each family should be taught to respect women and her right to equality,” he said.

He lauded the report, which was scientifically and methodically prepared by Drishti. Earlier, Dr Anjali Deshpande, secretary of the Drishti Women’s Studies Centre, spoke about other reports on the impact of sex ratio on the pattern of marriages in Haryana and migration of girl domestic workers from tribal areas of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

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