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Gender Inequality in Literacy and School Level Education in Slums of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1 University of Calcutta, 35, Bullygunj Circular Road, Kolkata, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 3, Issue (11), Pages 27-33, November,14 (2014)


Literacy is one of the prime indicators of human development. Though the total literacy rate of India shows an impressive progress since the time of independence, there exists noticeable inequality in genderwise achievement at the national, regional and local levels. Recent researchers have developed evidences showing how education can help in increasing capabilities, like freedom of participation in political and economic processes, use of modern technologies, and protection against legal, economic as well as sexual exploitation, attainment of higher social status, increase child and maternal well-being (King and Hill, 1993). Educational status of women is very important as it determines the nature of employment and earning and eventually it helps to increase the family income. Thus education of females helps to eradicate poverty to some extent. Apart from that, level of education among women leads to good health, avoid burden of general disease, control birthrate and thus, has a very important consequence in the well-being of the individual and family. The females, being the biologically weaker section of the society, are being deprived from having equal educational, occupational as well as health status than in comparison with her male counterparts. The scenario is more intense in most of the developing countries like India. Due to several socio-economic and cultural reasons like poverty, preference towards male child, early marriage of girls, unequal rates of work participation and unemployment between males and females, social and religious beliefs, absence of awareness and conservative attitude of the families, high incidence of illiteracy and gender discrimination of girl child mainly in educational front can be seen. The scenario is worst in the slum areas, which is an indispensable part of large cities in contemporary third world countries. About one third of population of Kolkata Municipal Corporation dwells in the slum areas. The present study is thus concerned with the status of gender inequality in literacy of slums in Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), which is one of the major metropolitan cities of India.


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