Trends in literacy rates and schooling among the scheduled tribe women in India
Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to highlight the differences in literacy and schooling attainment among the scheduled tribe women in India. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses data from the Census of India, Department of Education in India, and National Human Development Report prepared by the Government of India. Findings – The high status of women among the tribal groups in the northeastern states has important effects on the literacy rates, enrollment ratios and dropout rates of girls in that region. High-poverty rates pose to be significant obstacles in attaining literacy and education among tribal women in India. However, large differences in literacy rates in the various states in India show that social and cultural norms, proximity to the mainstream Hindu culture, and the role of women are also important determinants in achieving literacy among tribal women. Originality/value – Literacy is considered to be an important tool for improving the status of women among the scheduled tribes. Aggregate statistics often paint a dismal picture of the low-literacy rates and schooling among the scheduled tribe women. This paper shows that such statistics fail to capture the different trends in literacy rates and value placed in schooling among the various tribal groups in India. Differences in economic, social, and cultural backgrounds among the various tribes need to be emphasized in order to understand the differential nature of investments in literacy rates and schooling among tribal women in India.
Communities, India, Individual development, Literacy, Sexual discrimination, Women
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