Essay on Literacy and Women’s Empowerment


Literacy among women opens up many opportunities for them for their empowerment. Literate women can express constructively their talents.

Literacy among women leads to better hygiene, improved nutrition-practices and greater effectiveness in caring for family health. It leads to improved maternal competence and lowering of the rate of infant mortality, fetter health status of women makes them more productive workers both, at home and outside leading the way to their equality and empowerment. Female education leads to late marriage an making the size of family small.

Educated women can acquire knowledge about contraception. It helps them making a gap in rearing and bearing child. Education helps women to participate in works that are outside home. Infant mortality rate is lower among the children of educated women. Their surviving children are healthier and better educated. Education of women emancipates them in wasteful child-bearing and helps them to take part in market activities.


Educated women can make a better use of time. “Education helps them to reduce time which they spend in household and non-market activities. Education among women moves them from non-monetized sector to monetized sector. It allows them to participate directly in household economy. This enhances their status in decision making within the family. It is a major step towards their equality and empowerment.

Illiterate women and women with minimal education concentrate mostly on low-paying and low-end occupations in informal sectors. There is no occupational mobility for these women due to restricted choice. A majority of women are found concentrating on domestic or personal service.

According to the Census of India in 1981, the female work participation is only 7.29 per cent which increased to 8.07 per cent only in 1991. This indicates that women cannot increase their participation in formal and monetized sectors. Literacy among women will help in drawing them away from the exploitative informal sec or and give them more recognition for their work both at household and national levels.

Literacy levels up to high school and above with a vocational training help women get out of low-skilled jobs which are extensions of domestic work. It “equips them to take up jobs requiring specific skill which would be better paying and less exploitative.


Low level of literacy among women leads them to their unequal situation in the labor market. They get unequal pay for equal work. They cannot get economic independence, lack of power and status in the family. Literacy among women leads to better economic opportunities leading them to equality and empowerment

A small amount of education increases the amount of earnings of women if they are in labor force. In India, a study has revealed that literacy without completed primary education resulted in higher earnings. Middle school qualification even doubles women’s returns from labor.

Education helps women to move out of agricultural labor into non-household manufacturing and service occupations in the modern sector. Just as literacy increases economic opportunities, school education familiarizes girls with non-family social-settings and increases their skills and confidence to engage in productive work outside the home more competitively.

Self-employment is a major sector of employment. Poor women mostly concentrate on it. In most cases the scale of operation is small and, therefore, the return is less. If these poor women are educated they can take loan from banks. But very often the banks and the financial institutions are unwilling to lend when the borrower is uneducated. If at all such loans are taken they are awarded to men.


Studies on developing countries including India have shown that poor women invest money more wisely, make sound decisions to maximize returns and are more conscientious in returning the loans.

Education of women will place them on an equal footing with men in decision-making positions in economic and political fields. Empowerment of women through education will lead to their greater participation in Government and community institutions. More women in parliament, cabinets, chief executive officers in major corporations, top administrators and the like will lead women towards equality and empowerment. If women are placed in top decision-making positions, this will help women to progress in all fields of activity. It increases the full potential of women.

It is highly necessary on the part of a nation to make women educated. Education leads women towards equality and improvement which in turn helps development of a nation. Women are educators of the next generations. It is through them that innovations can be-introduced. It enables women to take part in modern life. Literary and education of women change their image and their role within the society. It will help change the tradition ideas of people about women’s role.

Development of a country is linked with women’s welfare and productivity. If women are educated they change the behavior of the generation that is necessary for a better life. Despite this there is only 20-25per cent women in rural India are literate. This is one third of the urban female literary rate.

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