EDUCATION AS A TOOL FOR EMPOWERING RURAL WOMEN IN INDIA: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL

R.L. Borah

Golaghat Commerce College (INDIA)
The empowerment of women has widely been acknowledged as an important goal in international development. But so far as Indian scenario is concerned, in spite of government’s continued efforts in the form of allocation resources and formulation of policies for the empowerment of women in general and rural women in particular, no significant stride has been made so far. It has become strikingly clear that political and social forces that resist women’s right in the name of religious, cultural and ethnic tradition have contributed to the marginalization and oppression of women in India. It is also observed that no amount of physical help in the form of entrepreneurial development program will do much in eradicating the maladies that cripple the Indian women if they are not socially or morally uplifted through education.

The present study will therefore, attempt a critical appraisal of the role that can be played by education in empowering rural women in India. The study will first focus on participation of rural women in process of education and by doing so it will examine whether the education of girl child in India is a fallacy or reality. Then it will throw light on the maladies like social taboos, poverty, improper implementation of government schemes, religious and cultural values, caste systems, etc. which handicapped women’s education in rural India. Finally, drawing form a review of theoretical, methodological and empirical literature from the fields of demography, sociology, anthropology, and economics, study will try to endorse some strategies that might help in bringing about moral and attitudinal changes in rural women of India through education.
keywords: empowerment, women, india.