ISSN NO. 2581-9070 ONLINE


Dr. K. Sailaja1*, V. Roja2

1 Assistant Professor, 2 Research Scholar,

Dept. of Economics, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam


Education empowers a person in all dimensions of life. As such education is to be considered as a fundamental human right of every citizen irrespective of gender. Though ‘education for all’ has been the major task of the Government of India, the country lags behind in terms of female literacy. Female literacy rate was as low as 8.6 per cent in 1951 and it gradually increased to 15.3 per cent in 1961, 28.5 per cent in 1981, 53.67 per cent in 2001 and finally increased to 65.46 per cent by 2011. However female literacy rate is relatively far less compared to male literacy rate (82.14 per cent) in the country.

Major factors for low literacy among females include: gender based discrimination against the girl child, patriarchal society, lack of security to the girls, high dropout rate, poverty, malnutrition of the girl child, lower socio-economic status of the parents and outdated social customs.

However, the Government of India has launched several programmes in order to promote female education in India. They include: Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Indira Mahila Yojana, Balika Samridhi Yojana, Rashtriya Mahila Kosh, Programme for development of women and children in rural areas. In spite of all these programmes, it is reported that India still has 145 million women who are unable to read or write.

In this context, it is pertinent to pursue vigorous efforts to increase female education in India. In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2030, female education plays a critical role in India. It is no exaggeration that an educated woman is like a magic wand which brings prosperity, health and pride to the family and the nation.

Keywords: Female literacy, Millennium Development Goals, Government Programmes

Abstract submitted to the National Seminar on Visionary Women organised Visakha Govt. Degree & P.G. College for Women in collaboration with Tejasvi Astitva Foundation on 12th September, 2019.