How far have we come in implementing gender equality in our classrooms? The stats say that we are almost there. According to the latest data by the Ministry of Education, over 12.29 crore girls enrolled in primary to higher secondary in 2021-22, which is an increase of 8.19 lakh compared to the enrolment of girls in 2020-21. The gap between girls and boys is narrowing in the higher education sector, as 49% of college students are now girls.
Why are these numbers so significant for us? Let’s start with a critical analysis. Every year a girl spends in school can boost her future income by 10–20%. Equalizing access to girls’ basic education and ensuring that all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills could cut extreme global poverty by as much as 12%. Investing in girls’ education is essential for the welfare of the world at large, and we need leaders who can bring effective policies that would reduce inequalities.
However, the job continues. Women predominate in the education sector, but their representation in leadership roles could be much higher. We need to see more women advance in their careers and reach the top positions. To bring equality in higher education leadership, it is important for us to tell the stories of women leaders who have made a difference. Their struggles and hard work inspire many who aspire to be at the top.
In this issue, we have come up with stories of such leaders featured among the 10 Most Influential Women Leaders in Indian Education-2022. On the cover, we feature Mrs. Rashmi Mittal, Pro-Chancellor of Lovely Professional University, who perceives herself as a facilitator and guide rather than a leader in the noble cause of imparting education. She has always believed that a better society can be formed only by establishing a strong education system that focuses on the holistic development of students.