Girls’ Education in North India: Entitlement, Morality, or Both?

Author(s): Aishwarya Sehgal
Final project
Year of publication:
Gender and Education
Number of pages:


This essay explores an alternate principle/framework of morality that can be used by government school teachers to make the Right to Education more effective as a legal construct in North India. By tracing the roots of Hinduism to the Vedic period it becomes clear that the true essence of Hinduism is a religion that promotes gender equality and girls’ right to education. A demonstration of how Indian culture has changed over time because of invasions by the Aryans, the Mughals and the British in the Northern part of India shows how Vedic Hinduism has been misinterpreted to suit the needs of those in power. The result is a perverted culture that perpetuates gender-based discrimination and poses socio-cultural constraints to girls’ education in a way that makes it difficult for them to exercise their fundamental right to education. A systematic gender analysis of the Right to Education Act in India shows its limitations and an argument is made for the need to make it more gender sensitive.