Pratyaya | Gender Inequality in Education (Published in Pragati)

An extract from my article on Gender Inequality published at Pragati :

In primary education, the current enrolment ratio of 940 girls per 1000 boys seems perfectly in sync with India’s overall gender ratio of 940 females per 1000 males. But a closer examination brings the disparities to light. There are 1017 girls enrolled for every 1000 boys in government schools and only 804 girls for 1000 boys in private schools. States like Haryana (639 girls per 1000 boys in private schools, and 998 girls per 1000 boys in government schools), Rajasthan (643, and 1060), Delhi (677, and 1019), Gujarat (689, and 936), Punjab (710, and 816) have greater disparity. Some states like Kerala (967 girls per 1000 boys in private schools), Bihar(974) and Assam(980) have lesser disparity but no state except Meghalaya has more boys than girls enrolled in private schools.

Evidently, the parents prefer to send boys to private schools and girls to government schools. In other words, when it comes to private education expenditure, parents spend it on a male child. Studies by Geeta Kingdon, Vimala Ramachandran, and Dreze and Sen have confirmed this observation. Vibhu Tewary of Accountability Initiative thus concluded that “the enrollment of girls in schools for the bottom two quartiles of household wealth (measured as the non-food expenditure by the household) was negatively affected by cost of education, while for boys, this was only true for the lowest quartile. This implies that while lower wealth has an adverse impact on enrolment, girls were affected across a larger wealth spectrum as compared to boys”.

For full article, click here.