Gender disparity in the educational opportunities provided to girls in the Devanga Community in urban Bangalore, India.

Richard Rose, Pooja Haridarshan

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


The education of women is a topic which continues to be debated and remains an area of some contention (Dean, 2017). In some situations advantages provided to sons which are not necessarily available to daughters results in discriminatory practices in education, nutrition, and healthcare (Bose, 2012). Previous research has demonstrated that girls are less likely to go to school than boys and when enrolled are more likely be withdrawn from education at a young age to enter adult life as a care giver and nurturer. In some societies female children are prepared for their adult roles from a very young age with an emphasis upon assuming domestic roles and taking care of the family. They are often influenced by a patriarchal, joint family system in which the father is viewed as the bread winner and is portrayed as a stern figure, and the mother is the primary care giver and nurturer, as reported by Tseng and Chao (2002). Even where have been significant advances made by women in their participation in economic activities this has not reduced their “disadvantaged” status in society. In some communities in India, including the Devanga community who are the focus of this paper, marginalization remains an issue.

A small weaving community spread across various states in India, the Devanga community is founded upon patriarchal norms and stereotyped beliefs. Little prior research conducted into the lives of women in this community.
This chapter draws upon research to report the barriers girls face with respect to educational opportunities; gender discrimination being one of the most important deterrents to education (Dreze and Kingdon 2001). The aim of this chapter is to be able to generate data which can be used to improve the lives of women and empower them to gain better access to educational opportunities.

The reported research was conducted with a purposive sample of 120 women of the Devanga community. A feminist, ethnographic, mixed method approach was adopted with data collected through survey methods and semi-structured interviews.
Data analysis indicated that the male members of the Devanga community considered the birth of a girl as a disadvantage resulting in a restricting of finances for their education and a focus upon establishing them in nurturing and care-giver roles rather than supporting the development of independent, empowered individuals. The data indicated that since girls are required to abide by the orthodox and traditional ideas laid down by the community members they tend to feel “lesser and incapable” when compared to their male counterparts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademic Achievements: Perspectives, Gender Differences and Outcomes
EditorsSidney, J Hewitt
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-53619-709-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021


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