Your mind becomes open with education: exploring mother’s aspirations for girls’ education in rural Bihar

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Abstract

The transformational power of education is considered crucial to improving life outcomes. However, girls in rural India often still face barriers to learning (ASER, 2018). The literature notes economic and socio-cultural barriers to girls’ education which both mediate, and are affected by, parental aspirations. This research explored the aspirations for girls’ education of members of a grassroots microfinance organisation in rural Bihar through one-on-one interviews and focus group discussions. Economic factors, such as increased awareness of employment opportunities and changing financial situations enabled mothers to act on their pre-existing aspirations for daughters’ education, supported by shifts in the requirement of higher levels of education for marriage. Mothers also emphasised the potential for education to enhance their daughters’ wellbeing as influencing their aspirations. Therefore, policymakers must prioritise education that has a socially transformative agenda, as well as providing support to tackle economic and socio-cultural barriers to girls’ education.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalCompare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education
Early online date8 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • gender
  • aspirations
  • India
  • education

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