Volume : VII, Issue : V, May - 2018


Dr. Jakir Hussain Laskar

Abstract :

Muslims, as a community traditionally have lower literacy rate especially if we consider girl’s enrolment. But now the rate of girl’s enrolment is in improving condition within the largest minority community, i.e. Muslim, in             West Bengal. In this paper, an attempt has been taken to present an empirical analysis through years, basing upon the primary survey data provided by Association Snap and GuidanceGuild(Kolkata –2016), Census of India 2011and National Family Health Survey(NFHS–2006) data; to draw an objective picture of the Muslim women in WestBengal.It is observed that, unlike the national trend, the male–female and rural–urban gaps for the current enrolled children in elementary education are lower among Muslims of West Bengal. The survey data show that overall enrolment ratio for Muslim children of age 6–14 is 85.5 percent and girls are marginally ahead of boys(86.4 vis–à–vis 84.6).About 15 percent Muslim children age 6–14 years are found to be out of school. While 9.1 percent were never enrolled, 5.4 percent dropped out. Financial problems emerged as the major factor for not being able to go to school(42.5 percent boys and 40.4 percent girls). The distance to school, lack of infrastructural facility in school and lack of motivation as the factors behind dropping out of school of the girls, as they did not see any future benefits from education.

According to census of India 2011 and primary survey, for the Muslims in the child sex ratio is found to be 955, compared to the adult sex ratio of 938 which an appreciable demographic phenomenon.

The rapid rate of progress amongst Muslim women in terms of literacy is probably a trendsetter for many in the future and highlights the potential of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Before primary level girl’s dropout(31.4) rate is higher than the boys(28.8) where as boy’s drop out(49.6)share is higher than girl’s(43.8)after the primary level. Muslim women’s participation in higher education and in the skilled work force is disproportionately small. Muslim parental aspiration for children’s education, an observable degree of the common social prejudice that make investments in a daughter’s higher education seem less worthy than the investment in a son’s.

Only 8.9 percent of the Muslim women in the working age were found to be working. Overall work participation rate among Muslim women is low in West Bengal. Only the two districts in which we find female work participation rates to be high compared to others are Malda and Murshidabad. In Murshidabad around half of the female workers are engaged in bidi–rolling, and in Malda, almost 70percent of them are so engaged.

Muslim women 66.5 percent had married below 18 years. According to NFHS 3data, it is found that Muslim have a higher preference(74.2 percent)for at least one daughter than Hindus(68.7 percent).

There certainly exists systematic patriarchal oppression of Muslim women in WestBengal, the picture is not one of deprivation alone. Despite the handicaps of poverty, social conservatism, and resource deprivation, the Muslim women of West Bengal have been doing better in some respects than their immediate predecessors. Here in West Bengal only 0.6 percent Muslim women are found to be divorced, and 0.7 percent separated, inging the total number of such women to 1.3 percent. Compared to the findings of the 2011 census, which finds divorced, separated and deserted women account for 9.6 percent in West Bengal.

Efforts should be made young women to become financially independent, or at least capable to some degree, before insisting on their marriage.

The policy of ‘female empowerment’ has been one of the most popular measures recently undertaken by states to help women to overcome traditional forms of oppressions. In order to improve the overall conditions of the Muslim women, efforts have to be made to improve their socio–econo–educational–cultural overall status as well.

Article: Download PDF    DOI : https://www.doi.org/10.36106/paripex  

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