Indian Muslim girls in higher education increased marginally: reporttext_fields
New Delhi: The number of Muslim women enrolling in schools and colleges had significantly increased in India, The Indian Express reported, citing governmental surveys.
Even though Muslim women's numbers are lower than women in other faiths, the increase in ten years was significant.
From 2007-08 to 2017-18, the Gross Attendance Ratio (GAR) of Muslim girls in higher education has jumped from a mere 6.7 per cent to 13.5 per cent. This was found by the unit-level data analysis of the 64th and 75th rounds of the National Sample Survey (NSS) by Khalid Khan of the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies. Here, the ratio was obtained from Muslim girls from age 18-23 who were enrolled in colleges to the total number of Muslim women in the age group. In the case of Hindu women, it reached 24.3 per cent from 13.4 per cent during the same ten year period.
The hijab issue rooted Karnataka, GAR of Muslim women in higher education recorded a whopping 15.8 per cent in 2017-18 compared to 2007-08.
In the case of school girls also, an increase was found, showing that more girls from the community are accessing mandatory initial education.
As per the data compiled by the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) on elementary and secondary education, Muslim girls' enrolment to total enrolment of girls in upper primary classes (5 to 8) has reached 14.54, from 13.30 in 2015. It reached 15.81 per cent from 15.16 in Karnataka.
Against the backdrop of the current contentious hijab issues, an expert said that irrespective of faiths, girls in India are battling many odds to attain education. Issues like the ban on hijab and mandating girls what to wear are some instances. The rise in enrolment of girls cut across religious and social groups as well as states, the expert said.
Afeeda KT, a teacher of sociology in a college in Bengaluru, said that the political targeting of Hindutva forces is evident in the hijab issue. It might be early to predict how it affects Muslim girls' education, but the hijab issue will impact their life choices in the patriarchal society in the country.
A case is sub judice in Karnataka High Court after Muslim girls filed a petition challenging hijab ban inside classrooms.