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Female Literacy And The Developing World

Chronos

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So this is my first article on Seniors Cafe. And I decided to do a mundane, academic article to avoid slugfests for the first time around.


I have noticed that whenever there are elections in India, well even in a lot of the developing world countries, discussion about population growth, and the ways to tackle it are nearly absent. Is it because the society is conservative? Does the customs and ores of the nation prevent them to speak on population growth because they are closely linked to sexual activities I don't know. and I can't give you that answer. But what I can give is one of the most effective ways to improve Human development Indicators that a lot of developing countries, including India missed. Especially female literacy. From now on, I will me referring to India or developing countries in general. Feel free to make comparisons with your own nations.


To start off here is a graph

image_large.png


The graph is a bit dated, but I am sure it is still relevant today. But there are other benefits to female literacy as well

Social Benefits

Using the example of India. A lot of children tends to die, especially so in rural poor areas due to infectious diseases. This of course have been found to have been easily preventable, if the child had washed his/her hands regularly, trim the nails and observed basic hygiene protocols. Literacy itself brings with it 'Health literacy.'

"The Bolivia study revealed that ‘improvements in health-related knowledge and behavior were greater for women who attended literacy and basic education programs’ (p xi). Positive changes included: seeking medical health for themselves and a sick child, adopting preventive health measures, such as immunisation, and greater knowledge of family planning methods" (Robinson-Pant, 2004)

There is a link between fertillity rates and Female education. The Table that illustrates this is below.



highlights13_edutfr.PNG

Keep in mind that Infant Mortality rates have many causes contributing to it, but female illiteracy seems to be one of them

5238236887_7b7fef0279_b.jpg


again, keep in mind that there are many factors to consider other than Female literacy by itself.



Literacy Rates Aren't Enough on Their Own

Female literacy rates are at the end of the day numbers. It does give you a number, an indicator of how well a society is doing, the power distance of genders in a society. But looking at the numbers alone can be deceptive. In the context of India, States with high literacy rates for example Kerala, still give out immense amounts of gold, or money as Dowry. Sates like Punjab still engage in female foeticide. We need to look at the figures more holistically.

Particularly Female participation in the labor force. Here is a Map to illustrate this.

women-labor-force-participation1.jpg



We have to keep in mind that Education is a tool. Think of it this way, without education, our horizons would be shortened. It would be narrowed. But the society we live in, either through culture, or because you are wealthy allows you to pursue your dreams. For many Women in Developing countries, either they receive elemental education and are forced to drop out, drop out at secondary level, achieve tertiary education and then forced to drop out and usually marry.

Education should bring with it choices. A choice for a Woman to work or not, a choice to marry or not. A choice in their career choices. The most valuable resource for a nation is it's Human Resource. A nation never becomes truly developed by neglecting one half of it.

According to Indian Census 2011 the literacy rate was 74%. But the striking fact was that the Male literacy rate was 82% while the female literacy rate was 65%. In the future, the quality of education delivered, gender gap in education, graduation of women from secondary education, enrollment rate of women in tertiary education and female participation rate in the labor force should be paid close attention too.

Indian politicians after the economic contraction talk about entrepreneurship, job creation. What can help India too is more Women entrepreneurs, more Women in the workforce, so not only can they create wealth, but also serve as role model for Indian girls.

This was my first article here. Sorry if the article appear disjointed, and Rambling.

@Aeronaut @scorpionx @Azlan Haider @Manticore @Oscar @Dillinger @levina @SarthakGanguly @nair @FaujHistorian @Indischer
 
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Revolutionary and honest. :tup:

The differences in employment is really startling. For example more women in Madagascar work in the labor force as compared to Italy! The Balkans are largely in the same place as India.

Question is what are we missing that the girls in Madagascar did not? :)
 

Chronos

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Revolutionary and honest. :tup:

The differences in employment is really startling. For example more women in Madagascar work in the labor force as compared to Italy! The Balkans are largely in the same place as India.

Question is what are we missing that the girls in Madagascar did not? :)
You have unintentionally brought up a critiue o this article.

So we need to look at the numbers more closely and more holistically. Just because more girls in Madgascar work than Italy doesn't mean they are better off.

what I suggest is looking at literacy numbers in conjunction with health indictors, labor participation, Gender income gap and other numbers.

For a truly nuanced approach, field research is probably required or personal experiences.

We don't know what life is really like or Women in Madagascar or Balkans.

But this provides a framework of goals to reach. :-)
 

FaujHistorian

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I respectfully say

Gender based analysis could be misleading.

Type and quality of jobs available in a country are unique to the resources available and the country's history.

Just because women work in a society is not in itself gaurantee for properity

May be you are all looking at cause and effect analysis from the wrong direction.


peace
 

Chronos

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I respectfully say

Gender based analysis could be misleading.

Type and quality of jobs available in a country are unique to the resources available and the country's history.

Just because women work in a society is not in itself gaurantee for properity

May be you are all looking at cause and effect analysis from the wrong direction.



peace
Yes, this is a valid criticism I feel.

There are many resource rich nations that conform to what you say as well.

But most nations in the world is still patriarchal, and in many nations it is not about equal pay or sexual rights, but some basic fundamental rights are missed out
 
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I respectfully say

Gender based analysis could be misleading.

Type and quality of jobs available in a country are unique to the resources available and the country's history.

Just because women work in a society is not in itself gaurantee for properity

May be you are all looking at cause and effect analysis from the wrong direction.


peace
True. But still working women are less likely to be abused. We know how some husbands feel like they are doing a favor to the wife when she is 'just' a housewife. Especially in India, this is a hard reality. :(

IMO it's more to do with social factors than simple literacy. Also interesting is the fact that more male literacy has still not ensured a safer India. In fact crimes against women are apparently increasing. But then there's a difference between quality education and literacy statistic.
 

Chronos

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True. But still working women are less likely to be abused. We know how some husbands feel like they are doing a favor to the wife when she is 'just' a housewife. Especially in India, this is a hard reality. :(

IMO it's more to do with social factors than simple literacy. Also interesting is the fact that more male literacy has still not ensured a safer India. In fact crimes against women are apparently increasing. But then there's a difference between quality education and literacy statistic.
For the first part, economic dependence is one factor that keeps women in abusive relationships. For the independent ones, threat of social sanction, parental disapproval or stigma of being a divorcee also plays a role.

If I am not wrong, Indian educational quality is quite poor I think.
 

FaujHistorian

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For the first part, economic dependence is one factor that keeps women in abusive relationships. For the independent ones, threat of social sanction, parental disapproval or stigma of being a divorcee also plays a role.

If I am not wrong, Indian educational quality is quite poor I think.
This too I believe is kind of India-centric view.

And it may not fully hold as true for Western societies where plenty of working women are abused

Colleges are notorious for EXTREMELY high rape cases.

I support your OP about educating and training both genders.

But i respectfully disagree with many arguments that are way beyond the original message.

Thank you
 

Chronos

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This too I believe is kind of India-centric view.

And it may not fully hold as true for Western societies where plenty of working women are abused

Colleges are notorious for EXTREMELY high rape cases.

I support your OP about educating and training both genders.

But i respectfully disagree with many arguments that are way beyond the original message.

Thank you
I did say the article holds India-Centric view. Or had some developing countries in mind
 
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For the first part, economic dependence is one factor that keeps women in abusive relationships. For the independent ones, threat of social sanction, parental disapproval or stigma of being a divorcee also plays a role.

If I am not wrong, Indian educational quality is quite poor I think.
It's mostly pathetic to be honest. Basic education that is.

This too I believe is kind of India-centric view.

And it may not fully hold as true for Western societies where plenty of working women are abused

Colleges are notorious for EXTREMELY high rape cases.

I support your OP about educating and training both genders.

But i respectfully disagree with many arguments that are way beyond the original message.

Thank you
Though I hate to admit, but psychology dictates that abuse is 'natural'. How the society and the individual deal with it post-abuse is more relevant.
 

Levina

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@Ravi Nair
Thankgod the title is Female literacy , using illiteracy would be pessimistic.Isnt it?
I dont know about other developing countries but I can speak for india.
I read it somewhere that at the present growth rate India would achieve universal literacy by 2060. Thats another 46years from now.I hope our government hastens up efforts to educate our population.
Its the negative attitude towards a girl child that stops parents from educating their own daughter. Even if the gal gets to study she may not be allowed to join a professional college because the parents think that "finally the gal has to jostle in the kitchen".That attitude must die. For this customs like dowry system should die first.
Lack of education is lack of awareness.
 

scorpionx

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Excellent article @Ravi Nair. Thank you for bringing up such a superb topic.

Female literacy does play a part in reducing fertility for sure, but not to a substantial degree. Literacy is definitely a social obligation for a civilized world but it is definitely not the “magic tablet” for population control. According to an article based upon National Family Household Survey, factors that act as major independent variables are,

| Woman’s schooling. Educated women have reduced child mortality which also indicates lower fertility.

| Wealth of the family. Wealthier the women, lower the number of living child.

| Husband’s schooling. Though it does not play a vital part but educated, wealthy men have significant role in lowering the number of living children.

| When a woman works she tends to to have fewer children. This pattern has significantly observed in states like Uttar Pradesh and Andhra.

|“Years of cohabitation” is another vital factor. Lesser the age of the bride, more the years of cohabitation and greater the number of living children.

| Another interesting factor is domestic privacy. More the number of rooms per adult, more the number of living children. Interestingly, one can draw a parallel between the late 18th century massive industrialization of Europe when population grew exponentially where as it grew only in modest percentage in Asia and Africa.

| Religion does indicate to be a significant factor here. Muslims women as well tend to have more living children than the rest in Uttar Pradesh. Where as in Andhra, Christian women tend to have more children than non Christians. But this data is based upon two states only. And the pattern might vary from state to state.

So, education might not be the only answer to our perennial problem of over population. Economic development and diffusion of the fruits of development to the lowest strata of the society, bringing more jobs and basic infrastructures to the most ignored patches of the country seem to be the only measure we need to focus on.
 

Zabaniyah

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Bangladesh in light blue? Must be all those garment workers. And no, not all of them are literate. They don't go to school for that matter.

I respectfully say

Gender based analysis could be misleading.

Type and quality of jobs available in a country are unique to the resources available and the country's history.

Just because women work in a society is not in itself gaurantee for properity

May be you are all looking at cause and effect analysis from the wrong direction.


peace
Women's empowerment do matter actually. Especially in regards to population control and stability.
 

Koovie

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Superb article :tup:

I strongly believe that we as a nation will never bring prosperity to all our people as long as we cannot bring equality between men and women.
 

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