According to this article in Hindustan Times, the number of women who study Engineering has doubled over the last ten years. Even in other streams, their number has increased significantly. Women now constitute 41% of the total students enrolled in higher education. And that’s a good trend.
When I was studying Engineering, around 35% of my class was comprised of girls. They used to get, on an average, better marks than guys. If you know what kind of subjects are covered in technical papers, you’d know how much effort it takes to score marks in them.
I guess in the cities girls outnumber and outperform guys. Except in certain technical streams like Mechanical Engineering, I find a good number of girls in almost every other stream. Maybe in rural areas and small towns, societal/parental restrictions might prevent girls from taking up technical education, hence they may prefer humanities/sciences.
Ideally, the enrollment ratio in higher education should be 50:50 for men and women, but in a country where even the birth ratio is tilted towards men, this will take sometime to achieve.
In cities, the awareness towards higher education, jobs and self sufficiency for women is good. But it is important to create awareness in small towns and rural areas too.
However, when it comes to work, I have noticed that a considerable percentage of women drop out, especially post-marriage or post-child birth. I don’t think this is good.
Women need to be independent and have their own source of income in order to have an equal say in the family. So, if they are stopped from going to work, the scales tilt. In many cases, that’s what happens.
As we become a developed nation, our needs and wants will also increase, and so will the cost of living. One person working will not be sufficient to manage a family, anywhere.
I think it’s important for men and women to share the responsibility post-marriage/post-child birth equally so that neither of them need to sacrifice their career.
One way to do that might be to continue living in a joint family even after marriage so that elders can be helpful by sharing responsibilities like cooking and taking care of children (to an extent).
At the end of the day, everything depends on individual decisions. So it’s important for women to stand up to their rights. Let’s hope our society will become a more equal society, with equal opportunities and support for women in technical education and workplaces, in a few generations from now.
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