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Manushi. 1999 May-Jun;(112):12-7.

A surprising exception. Himachal's success in promoting female education.



Gender inequalities in India are derived partly from the economic dependence of women on men. Low levels of formal education among women reinforce the asymmetry of power between the sexes. A general pattern of sharp gender bias in education levels is noted in most Indian states; however, in the small state of Himachal Pradesh, school participation rates are almost as high for girls as for boys. Rates of school participation for girls at the primary level is close to universal in this state, and while gender bias persists at higher levels of education, it is much lower than elsewhere in India and rapidly declining. This was not the case 50 years ago; educational levels in Himachal Pradesh were no higher than in Bihar or Uttar Pradesh. Today, the spectacular transition towards universal elementary education in Himachal Pradesh has contributed to the impressive reduction of poverty, mortality, illness, undernutrition, and related deprivations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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