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Activating Youth in Lucknow to Promote Girls’ Education
Binod Kumar Sinha
#Education an essential element for empowering women: Our meet in Lucknow to encourage girls’ education. Read more:bit.ly/1oFTrTP
“Our dreams are linked to our education,” says Ila, a student of journalism at Lucknow’s Modern Girls’ College for Professional Studies. Unlike Ila, many young girls cannot pursue their dreams, simply because they are denied education.
While 79.2 percent of Indian males are educated, only 59.3 percent of women are. Low rates of literacy among women and girls are an important cause as well as an effect of gender inequality. Low female literacy has far-reaching effects on a number of social and economic issues, including population stabilization, health and hygiene.Conversely, higher levels of education among women have been linked to social development and stability.
At Oxfam India we work with regional partners to promote equality and education for all, with special focus on supporting girls’ education. “With every year of education, my dreams are changing, and I am becoming more ambitious. I believe that girls’ education is an essential element for women’s empowerment,” says Ila, who participated in a youth festival we organized in collaboration with Dastak on February 12 in Lucknow. The festival, titled Twelve Years of Continued Education for Girl Childaimed to mobilize the youth and create awareness about the importance of educating girls. Students from ten universities and 25 colleges participated.
Speaking at the event, Juhie Singh, chairperson, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) said, “Educating girl children will bridge inequality in the society, for which the youth play a crucial role. I urge the youth to help promote the education of girl children in our state.”
Although the Right to Education Act, 2009 ensures primary education for all children, a variety of reasons cause girl to drop out at various levels. The absence of proper toilets, the risk of sexual harassment, as well as the responsibility of household chores and younger siblings often urge young girls to give up their education, voluntarily or otherwise. To bridge gender inequality, it is imperative to address these issues, boost girls’ enrolment and reduce their drop-out rates.
Written by: Binod Kumar Sinha, Program Coordinator, Oxfam India
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