A STUDY OF TRENDS IN EDUCATION AND EXPOSURE TO MEDIA AMONG MUSLIM WOMEN IN INDIA BASED ON NATIONAL FAMILY HEALTH SURVEY I-IV (1992-2016) & CENSUS DATA 2001 AND 2011

It is generally believed that educational levels among the Muslim women in India are low and these low levels prevent them from attaining the benefits of a modern society. However, if any program to raise the educational levels among Muslim women is to be undertaken, first it is essential to have data on their level of education. In Indian censuses, information is collected on education of each individual member of the household by religion. Also tables on levels of education among men and women are prepared. But due to reasons best known to census authorities, this information by religion was not being published. The main aim of this research is to provide authentic data on trends of education and exposure to media among Muslim women in India.

The objectives of this research study are: to provide a Fact Sheet on the data from NFHS-I, NFHS-II, NFHS-III and NFHS-IV on levels of education and exposure to mass media among Muslim women by each state; also by rural and urban residence; to compare these levels among Muslim women in different states and by the residence in each state; to compare these levels with those among the majority community viz. Hindus; to trace and analyze the trends during the last three surveys in the levels of education and exposure to media among Muslim women and other women; to compare and contrast these trends; and to make policy recommendations.

This research study intends to reveal authentic data necessary for us to make Muslim community a dynamic community which can face the challenges of a modern society. Muslim women have to become literate and their educational levels have to be improved substantially. To achieve this, it requires vision and hard work on the part of the Muslim community and its leadership. To develop vision, it is high time to get sound knowledge about the educational status and media exposure among Muslim women.

To illustrate, the NFHS-I data on the whole present a gloomy picture for the Muslim women with respect to literacy level, with more than two-thirds of the women in the reproductive and productive years being illiterate. One is shocked to see universal illiteracy among women in Haryana state. There is an urgent need for the community to take up steps to increase the literacy level of the Muslim women. Thus the findings of this research study are expected to serve as an eye opener to the educational planners, policy makers and more especially for the political leaders, social reformers from various religious groups in general and the Muslim community leaders‟ especially religious leaders in particular. However, a silver line can be found if we can find the trends among the Muslim community specially women that the literacy and educational levels are increasing over the period of 1992-2016.
 


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