The journey of women in India is highly influenced by our socio-cultural environment. The Indian society, in general, exerts rights on deciding how educated a woman must be. Even though urbanization has brought about massive progress in society, we still have a long way to go. Over the years, women have broken shackles of exclusion and proved their worth in the world of education. But is that enough?
For instance, in India, the holy festival of Navratri celebrates Goddess Durga, during which nine days are meant for worshiping the nine incarnations of the Goddess. Vijayadashami, the last day of Navratri, celebrates Shakti, the all-powerful feminine force. While this festival is often associated with women empowerment, it is important to take inspiration from its meaning and educate girls to make this society more equal.
According to data compiled by the World Bank, between 2010 and 2020, the number of working women in India dropped from 26% to 19%.
However, India has seen a slight rise in the number of women enrolling for higher education. According to the Report of All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) of 2019-20, there was an 18.2% increase in female enrollment of higher education from 2015-16 to 2019-20. The same report stated that women in India now hold 49% share in total enrollment in higher education. This is only a positive sign. There is still a dire need to improve accessibility to education to women, especially higher education to those residing in rural areas.
Is an increase in enrollment just enough? Can we assume that an increase in enrollment will bridge the gender gap in higher education? The answer is no.
Several families in India today still think that higher education, or basic education per say is unnecessary for girls. Some Indian families still live with the mindset that it is enough for the men in the house to be educated. Even though towns and cities have come out of this misconception, a large part of the country still believes in not educating women.
These scenarios boil down to one question- Why is a degree important for a woman?
Women’s education not only reduces inequality, but also gives them the freedom to choose the life they wish to live. Here’s how obtaining a degree of freedom helps a woman.
Bridging the gender gap: The most important aspect that comes with educating women is equality. While women have been suppressed in several forms and have not been allowed to step outside their homes, education has helped them overcome this gender barrier. Today, more and more women are educated and are pursuing a degree of their choice. This has given them more freedom and independence to live life on their terms. Even those who aren’t allowed to study are fighting for their rights in their own way. This has helped bridge the gender gap and is paving the way for a more equal society.
Breaking stereotypes: Education for girls and women helps break the existing stereotypes prevailing in society. Every woman has the right to education and pursue a dream of her own. This creates awareness about the importance of education for a girl child and leads to a more progressive mindset.
Personal & financial independence: Independence is the best result of educating women. Personally, women tend to feel more independent when they have a degree in hand. They can either pursue higher education or choose a job. They’re also able to make decisions that will be respected by others. It is also important for women to be financially independent. Today, we get to see single mothers who run their families successfully without external support. This kind of independence comes with a degree.
Respect in society: Women with degrees are usually highly respected by society. Their decisions, opinions and voices are heard and respected when they’re highly educated.
Educating a woman means educating a family: Queen Radia of Jordan once said, “If you educate a woman, you educate a family.” Rightly said, development can be accelerated only when women are educated. Women instill important values in children, and it is important that a woman is educated in order to raise her child as a responsible individual.
Improves the economy: Beyond gender equality, educating women improves job opportunities, which further boosts the economy of a country. Today, women are pursuing degrees in various fields and are being hired in top positions, standing as role models for generations to come.
Why online degrees help women
The advantages that come with online degrees have made them extremely desirable today. Be it flexibility, accessibility, or career advancement, online degrees help you in many ways. Whether you are a working woman, a new mother, or an entrepreneur, online degrees can be extremely helpful.
Working women: Online degrees majorly benefit working women who want to either enhance their skills or those who want to get on the leadership track. They can expand their knowledge and apply what they study practically on the job. This could lead to better career prospects and a higher pay scale.
New mothers: New mothers can pursue an online degree from the comfort of their homes. While taking care of their newborn, during their spare time, they can study and write exams. They can make the best of their maternity break by signing up for an online degree and kickstart their careers after the break.
Entrepreneurs: Women running their own businesses can benefit from an online degree. They can enhance their skills and learn the crux of running a business. An online MBA helps women entrepreneurs grow in their business and acquire skills that the market demands today.
Attain your unfulfilled dreams: There are several women who wouldn’t have pursued their dreams due to several reasons. Some might be married off soon, or others might drop out of college due to other personal reasons. Individuals pursue degrees not only to get a job, but also for personal satisfaction, independence and other factors. In that sense, an online degree will give wings to all your unfulfilled dreams.
Women from all walks of life can pursue an online degree due to its accessibility, ease of learning and many other advantages. Here are a few-
Flexibility: One of the best aspects of online degrees is utmost flexibility. Working women can pursue online degrees from anywhere, without quitting their jobs. Homemakers can pursue an online degree from the comfort of their homes while balancing their family life. Also, women who dropped out of college due to unavoidable circumstances can take up an online degree and give wings to their dreams.
Accessibility: You can attend classes from your phone or laptop, which means you can learn from any part of the world. You can attend online classes and study at your own pace.
Affordability: The cost-effectiveness of online degrees is another factor that makes them desirable. You can spend less and learn at your own pace.
Learn at your own pace: Whether you’re a working woman, a homemaker or running a business, you can sign up for an online degree since you can learn at your own pace.
UGC-entitled degree: Online degrees are valued and credible just like a traditional on-campus degree. They are UGC-entitled.
Online degrees are a way to set yourself free from the obstacles that come in your way. Especially for most women, who usually multitask and are occupied with taking care of their families, they can pursue a degree from the comfort of their homes, without hampering their regular duties.
The Online Manipal advantage
With Online Manipal, you can pursue a hassle-free online degree. You can obtain a valuable online degree from top universities including Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), and Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ). You can learn anywhere, anytime at your own pace. Our courses are designed by industry experts and degrees are globally valid and recognized. You can attend live classes in real-time and revisit recorded sessions.
Degrees pave way for your independence, and for women especially, degrees are of utmost importance. Be it traditional on-campus or online degrees, they’re a way to claim your independence and pave way for a bright future.
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