Why Gender Equality is Important in Educational Institutions

Posted on: 2021-12-22 16:52:22

Socialization is a universal and continuous process that begins with the birth of an individual till their death. It refers to an ongoing process of learning the expected behaviours, values, norms, and social skills of individuals who occupy particular roles in society. Characteristics of the school, teachers, and peers all influence the socialization of children within school settings. Schools are one of the most important agents of socialization that build the foundation of an individual's character. School is the first social environment that a child is exposed to after their family and peers. Many children start their academic journey from the age of four.

The most significant function of a school is to impart education and skills to the students. Students learn the ability to convert this knowledge into thinking and behavioural patterns. Educational institutions should foster the overall development of a child. What a student learns in school stays with an individual for the longest period in their lives. Thus, it is necessary to instill the right moral and educational values in students to equip them with a set of social skills for further decision-making.

Equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right for every citizen of India. Article 14 of the Indian constitution states that: “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.” This means that every person, who lives within the territory of India, has equal rights before the law. Despite this, Indian citizens are discriminated against based on gender, caste, class, skin colour, among others. Indian women have been fighting for equality for many decades. Little girls are denied education in many rural and some urban parts of the country. Social evils like female foeticide and accepting dowry still exist.

According to The Unified District Information System for Education Plus 2019-’20 report, a little over 15% of girls drop out at the national level. The reasons for girls dropping out in rural India are varied. Girls drop out of school because, one, they are engaged in domestic activities (31.9 percent), two, they have financial constraints (18.4 percent), three, they are not interested in education (15.3 percent), and four, they get married (12.4 percent). It is estimated that over one crore girls are on the verge of dropping out of schools due to the pandemic alone.

If from a young age, girls, as well as boys, are taught the importance of equality and the need to fight against patriarchy, the country will benefit from it further.

Here are some ways schools could encourage gender equality among students.

United Nation's SDG-5 Under the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG-5) mentioned by the United Nations (UN), Gender Equality has been considered more than just a fundamental human right. It is a necessary prerequisite for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Gender inequality remains a major barrier to human development. Often, women and girls are discriminated against in various sectors of life. Crimes against women are high which creates negative consequences for the development of their capabilities and their freedom of choice. Gender inequalities, and their social causes, impact India's sex ratio, making it highly unequal.

Child Help Foundation (CHF) is working towards creating an equal platform for both boys and girls in the community. Our goal is to promote the education of the girl child. Our Gender Equality Program is aligned with the National Program ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao’. Our grassroots level programs are eliminating gender biases and creating a level playing field for both boys and girls. We believe that women need to be empowered to stand up for their Fundamental as well as Human Rights.