While the last century has seen a considerable shift in the status of women in Indian society, gender equality in education continues to be influenced by three sets of issues: economy, society and culture; accessibility/availability of formal education; and gender norms. Socio-economic inequalities, connectivity, and cultural beliefs and practices, including a continued preference for sons across the country, play an important role in determining whether girls are given access to both primary and higher education.
Gender and Education brings together wide-ranging debates that took place in the Economic and Political Weekly from 2000–17 on the social, political and economic realities impacting the education of women across the country. The sections analyse the different axes of inequality; the political, economic and social context of education; and pedagogy and curriculum, through a study of textbooks.
Vimala Ramachandran was involved in the conceptualisation of Mahila Samakhya (Education for Women’s Equality) and served as the first National Project Director (1988–93) at the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. She established Educational Resource Unit (now known as ERU Consultants Private Limited) in 1998, as a network of researchers and practitioners working on education. She is currently the Managing Director of ERU Consultants Pvt. Ltd, and lives in Jaipur.
Kameshwari Jandhyala is the first Director of Mahila Samakhya Andhra Pradesh and a Consultant to the National Office of Mahila Samakhya at the Department of Education, Government of India. She is currently a Director in ERU Consultants Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, and is based in Hyderabad.