ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Education and Girlhood

The issue of “girlhood” rather than “girls” is tackled in an attempt to answer the question “What is education?” and the necessity for autonomy in education is considered. The Indian state’s psychological split between a tyrannical need for control and a benevolence towards its citizens is examined, which leads to an explanation of the diffi culty the state faces in engaging with the culture of girlhood. Finally, the hardships that girls experience with regard to education today are outlined.

This article was fi rst delivered as a lecture in memory of J P Naik at the Centre for Women’s Development Studies on 24 April 2016.

First, I will explain why I prefer to talk about girlhood rather than girls. Second, I will try to respond to the question: What is education? Third, we will briefly examine why know;ledge requires an autonomous space. Fourth, we will reflect on the psychological split within the Indian state. This will help us explain, fifth, the state’s difficulty in engaging with culture, specifically the culture of girlhood. Finally, we will acknowledge the difficulties that this new age, characterised by assertive consumption, presents for the education of girls. I will then conclude by describing a gift given to a little girl by her parents.

Why Girlhood?

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Updated On : 6th Jun, 2022
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