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Abstract

This article aims to probe the role of education in the empowerment of women in the district of Malda, West Bengal, India. In an exhaustive survey comprising forty two villages, the article tries to unearth the status of women, attitude towards girls’ education in society, problems hindering the education of women, the importance of marriage in women’s life affecting education as well as the empowerment of women. The article also highlights that educated and economically empowered women have said a firm “no” to the prevalent malice of the dowry, thus directly bearing the fruit of economic empowerment in society of Malda district of West Bengal. Finally some recommendations have been made to eradicate the practice of intra-household and social discrimination of girl child and women. Empowerment through education has emerged as the only way to put an end to the horrors of dowry, as established by the survey.

Note on the Author

Haimanti Mukhopadhyay, M.Phil. is currently working as Principal, Anuradha English Medium School. Chikhli, Buldana, Maharashtra. India. I belong to an educated, middle class family, so unlike many of the women interviewed for this essay, my own education up to my graduation was not a problem for me. I received both support and opportunities for my education, which is common in middle class families in India. Also, being in the ‘Brahmin’ caste, (the teaching community since ancient Indian times) also assisted the cause of my education. I got married after my graduation and continued my post-graduate education with my determination and my husband’s support.

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