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In sexist India, girls set to rule schools

The dropout rate among Indian school girls are worryingly high. Source: Shutterstock

They make up nearly half the country’s school-going population now. In postgraduate courses, they even outnumber the men, Times of India (TOI) reported.

It’s a far cry from what it was just decades ago in the 1950s, where only a measly 25 percent went to school. Since then, it’s steadily climbed to 48 percent in 2015-16, the latest year for which data is available, according to TOI. The Indian Institute of Management in Rohtak even recorded a 300 percent increase in female enrollment for its eighth batch of postgraduate course programme in management.

It matters the fairer sex is catching up in terms of their school attendance. Education leads to jobs and decision-making positions in the future. Let’s not forget India also has the largest student population in the world, as TOI noted. For a country with major gender gaps, such as being paid 27 percent less than their male peers or being treated worse than a cow, the fact that Indian women’s representation in schools is now nearly equal to men is a big step forward.

If India has an equal representation of sexes in its schools, this also means it’s on par with more advanced nations, like those in the EU and US.

But not all is fine and dandy in Incredible India.

While more girls are going to school, the same can’t be said for those joining the workforce.

Women participation in the workforce is only 27 percent and in Parliament less than half of that, at 11 percent. Of its 500 largest listed companies, only 17 of its CEOs are females.

It’s worse at its universities, which are under no compulsion to hire women candidates for leadership positions, unlike corporate India. Women vice-chancellors only make up five out of India’s 46 central universities, according to Quartz. At its lower ranks, only 36 percent of its 666,971 academics are female, data from a 2013 government report shows. This figure decreases as we go up the academic ladder.

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