Rajasthan has the widest gender gap of 23.2 per cent when it comes to literacy rates across the country.
According to the National Statistical Survey Organization (NSSO) report released in January this year, the literacy rate for men in the survey year (2017 and 2018) was 80.08 per cent, while for females it was 57.6 per cent, making it the second-worst state in the country in terms of female literacy rate, The Times of India reported.
As per the 2001 and 2011 census data, literacy levels in Rajasthan have increased from 60.40 per cent to 66.11 per cent. There has been a drastic surge in women's literacy from 43.90 per cent to 52.12 per cent, while men have witnessed a slight rise from 75.70 per cent to 79.19 per cent in the same period.
Discrimination At Primary Level
"One of the major issues is the large gender divide at a stage where we are assessing individuals on simple reading, writing and mathematics. It is clear that females face discrimination right from their childhood in terms of education. It has come at a time when the government is working tirelessly on improving the gross enrolment ratio of females in educational institutions," Rashmi Jain, head of the sociology department, Rajasthan University, told The Times of India.
The female literacy rate was worst in Jalore and Sirohi with 38.47 per cent and 39.73 per cent respectively, as per 2011 Census figures. Kotra in Tonk was the worst-performing block having a literacy rate of females at 16.49 per cent.
Among the other states in India, the overall literacy rate is highest in Kerala (males 96.1%, females 92.1%). In contrast, the gap in literacy levels of males and females is highest in Rajasthan and below 5 per cent in Meghalaya, as per the government reports. At the all India level, the adult literacy rate for females is 59.3 per cent, while for males, it is 78.8 per cent.