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Gender inequality among Indian Muslims: myth and reality.


Gender inequality is not merely a dominant topic of academic discourse but also an issue of social and political activism. A vast literature, theoretical and empirical, has grown around multiple forms of gender discrimination and marginalization. Although a large body of information and analysis about the status of Indian women has been produced, there is a paucity of disaggregated data on women' status; neither the Census of India nor large-scale sample surveys provide community-wise data on all indicators of women's marginalization. Hence, the extent, forms, and factors of gender inequalities among Muslims are not exactly known.

The dearth of information, both qualitative and quantitative, about the status of Muslim women in general, and communalization of gender issues in particular, has led to the portrayal of their stereotypical images in academic discourse and in media. Some studies and surveys have been conducted to explore the status of Muslim women in which attempts are made to compare it with the status of non-Muslim women. One of the notable examples of such studies is a survey-based study, published with the title Unequal citizens: a study of Muslim women in India. (Hasan and Menon, 2004). This study does not merely investigate the status of Muslim women on various indicators with a theoretical framework of social and economic inequalities but also compares them with the status of non-Muslim women. While such studies and surveys are useful in knowing the comparative status of Muslim women, they do not provide information about gender inequalities among Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Any comparative study of Muslim and non-Muslim women would find the former in a more disadvantageous position than the latter as many of their handicaps and deprivations emanate from being members of a highly marginalized minority group of the country. Muslims, constituting about fourteen percent of the population, are educationally backward, economically poor, and politically powerless, subjected to various types of prejudices and discriminations, as well as frequently organized violence.

Contrary to empirical realities, Muslims and Muslim women are depicted as monolithic categories and, therefore broad generalizations are made about them. Very often data showing more backwardness of Muslim women than of non-Muslim women are used to draw erroneous conclusions about Muslims, such as that they oppose education, employment, and freedom of women, and that they keep women veiled and confine them within the four household walls. Briefly, Muslims are depicted as a community having rampant gender inequality, more than any other socio-religious community.

Secondly, the life conditions of Muslims and Muslim women, such as poverty, unemployment, family structure, education, marriage, and divorce, to quote a few examples, are seen in terms of religion. The Muslim religion is portrayed as oppressive of women's rights and liberty. Thirdly, provisions of Muslim Personal Law such as triple divorce, polygyny, women's rights of inheriting parental property, and alimony after divorce are given undue weightage in constructing the image of Muslim women and describing gender inequalities among Muslims.

Thus, the defining factors of their status "are popularly believed to be segregation, the male privilege of unilateral divorce, high fertility, ubiquitous veil, and conformity to the strict confines of womanhood within a fundamentalist religious code" (Hasan and Menon: 2004, 2). Such images of Muslim women are intensified due to communalization of gender issues and identities.

Social commentators have observed that the gendered politics of minority location have become more acute and complex in the last 15 years, following the intensification of communal politics in India and the consolidation of fundamentalist factions across religions in the wake of the Shah Banu controversy in 1985-86, the Deorala sati in 1987, and the tragedy of Babri Masjid 1992. All these have had significant consequences for the articulation of gender identity for, as well as by, women in contemporary India. Stereotypes of Muslim women , entrenched by the trinity of multiple marriages, triple talaq and purdah, have held them hostage for so long that they have become difficult to dislodge (Hasan and Menon, 2004, 3-4).

These images of Muslim women are constructed by ignoring existential realities and scientific methodology of investigation and interpretation. They are mere imaginary constructions, loaded with prejudices. The Muslims are neither a homogenous community, nor are their social organizations and life events are completely controlled by religion; indeed, Indian Muslims, like any other religious community in the country, are differentiated and are a heterogeneous community, having elaborate social and cultural divisions of caste, class, tribe and region. Hence, broad generalizations about the status of Muslim women are merely reductionism as they ignore the significance of social and economic diversity variables in defining gender relations. Indeed, gender inequalities cannot be separated from social inequalities of various kinds.

Many Faces of Gender Inequality

Men and women are interdependent on each other in social life. They work together varyingly and pervasively but are bestowed disproportionately with rewards and deprivations. The system of assigning unequal status and rights to men and women is generally called 'gender inequality'. Subsequently, everywhere men are privileged and women are deprived. Thus, gender inequality refers to privileges awarded by social systems to men over women in several spheres of life. Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen's appraisal at the beginning of the twenty-first century of these dichotomic role assignments reflects the reality of our gender-biased systems. Sen observed (2001), "The afflicted world in which we live is characterised by deeply unequal sharing of the burden of adversities between women and men. Gender inequality exists in most parts of the world, from Japan to Morocco, from Uzbekistan to the United States of America."

Although gender inequality is a socially created inequality, it is different from 'group inequality' as it exhibits through the system of social stratification. In almost every society, social groups of human beings are stratified in terms of status, wealth, and power. They differ from one another in benefits and deprivations. Therefore, gender inequality is to be examined within a social group, and comparison is to be made between two groups, not unequal in potentialities. However, it is possible that gender inequalities may be minimal in a social group having lower status rather than higher status because they may have a different system and practice of gender relations.

Gender inequality does not appear in a singular form, nor is its source of origin and practice uniform. It takes multiple forms, caused by different factors like religion, culture, law, social organizations, economic condition, and political systems. Hence, explaining gender inequality only in terms of religion or law is to negate the significance of other factors of importance in gender relations. While taking a plural view of gender inequality Amartya Sen (2001) says, "gender inequality is not one homogeneous phenomenon, but a collection of disparate and interlinked problems." He identifies seven different forms of gender inequality that emanate from different socio-economic and political disparities. These forms are as follows:

(1) Mortality inequality: In some regions in the world, inequality between women and men directly involves matters of life and death. It results in unusually high mortality rates of women and a consequent preponderance of men in the total population, as opposed to the preponderance of women found in societies with little or no gender bias in health care and nutrition.

(2) Natality inequality: Given a preference for boys over girls that many male-dominated societies have, gender inequality can manifest itself in the form of the parents wanting the newborn to be a boy rather than a girl. There was a time when this could be no more than a wish (a daydream or a nightmare, depending on one's perspective), but with the availability of modern techniques to determine the gender of the foetus, sex-selective abortion has become common in many countries. This is high-tech sexism.

(3) Basic Facility Inequality: Unequal access of men and women to education, health and other basic facilities widens gender inequality.

(4) Special opportunity Inequality: Even when there is relatively little difference in basic facilities, including schooling, the opportunities of higher education may be far fewer for young women than for young men. Indeed, gender bias in higher education and professional training exists even in some of the richest countries in the world, for example in Europe and North America.

(5) Professional Inequality: It is reflected in the differential work participation rate of men and women, for example, their unequal representation in various occupations.

(6) Ownership Inequality: This type is caused by a gap between men and women in the ownership of movable and immovable property.

(7) Household Inequality: It exists in the form of unequal sharing of the burden of housework and childcare. Thus, in the words of Sen (2001), "it is quite common in several societies to take it for granted that while men would naturally work outside the home, women could do it if and only if they could combine it with various inescapable and unequally shared household chores."

All these and several other forms of gender inequality exist in India across communities. While some of these inequalities have narrowed, such as gender gaps in literacy, education, and employment, others are increasing in the forms of aconsistently declining female ratio in the population, dowry harassment, bride burning, eve teasing, and rape. The gruesome and horrific gang rape of a young paramedical student in Delhi, the national capital of the country, on 16th December 2012 was not an exceptional incident. Hardly a day passes when incidents of molestation, rape and murder of women are not reported in the media. Increasing violence against women expresses deep-rooted patriarchal values and discrimination against women in India. Indian women are subjected to multiple forms of discrimination despite their constitutional status of being 'citizens', the presence of government schemes for their empowerment, and powerful movements for their liberation. Hasan and Menon observe that though legal equality is one of the fundamental rights of women, 'this alone is inadequate and can not ensure them a fair stake in economic and social development, nor can it lead to a major improvement in the lives of the majority unless the structures that generate disadvantage and discrimination are dismantled' (2004, 4). Indeed structures and practices of women's deprivations differ from community to community; and within a community from class to class, resulting into varying levels and degrees of gender inequalities in different social categories. In the following pages, an attempt is made to compare the gaps between men and women in sex ratio, literacy, and school education among Muslims with those of non-Muslim communities.

Sex Ratio

The well-known statistician Ronald Fisher in his work, The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930) argued that the sex ratio would tend to 1:1 among most species, including human beings. Some demographers argue that if equal care were bestowed on females and males, the ratio of females to males would be 1.05:1. Hence, a low and falling ratio of females in a population or 'sex ratio' (number of females per one thousand males) explicitly shows widespread discrimination against females in food, health care services, and parental wish of having a new born son rather than a daughter, resulting in either a high mortality rate of females or the killing of female infants and foetuses. This phenomenon can be observed in several male-dominated societies including India.

The Census of India enumerated 972 females per one thousand males in 1901. Despite improvements in the indices of life condition, emergence of women's movements, enactment of laws and formulation of policies for women's empowerment in the twentieth century, the number of females declined 39 points, as 933 females were recorded by the Census of 2001. Although an increase of 7 points was recorded in 2011, the female ratio in the population remained much lower than what it was at the beginning of the twentieth century.

The sex ratio differed from one state/union territory to another and within a state from one community to another. With 1058 females, Kerala was at the top in sex ratio while the position of Daman and Diu with 709 females was at the bottom in 2001. Uttar Pradesh (U. P.) exhibits the national trend in sex ratio:. 937 females in 1901, which declined to 882 in 1991. Although an increase of 16 points was recorded in 2001, the sex ratio of U. P. remained 35 points less than the national average and 39 points below the ratio in 1901.

The sex ratio was not uniform in religious communities of the state. It was below state average in three religious communities, namely Sikhs (876), Hindus (893) and the Buddhists (894); it was higher than the state average among Christians (960), Muslims (917) and Jains (911) (Computed from the Census of India Report on Religion Data: Uttar Pradesh, Series-10: 2005).

Hindus and Muslims constitute 98 per cent population of the State. Therefore, we have computed their sex ratio (in the age group six and above) in different districts of the state. The sex ratio of the Muslims in comparison to that of the Hindus in different clusters of districts is presented below in Table No. 1 below.

It is evident from the above table, computed from the Census of India 2001, there were seven districts of Uttar Pradesh where the sex ratio of Muslims was less than of Hindus. The gap was 2 points in Ghazipur, 4 in Ambedkar Nagar, 5 in Jaunpur, 8 in Gorakhpur, 11 in Azamgarh, 14 in Varanasi, and 28 in Sant Ravidas Nagar. Chandauli was the district in which sex ratio of Hindus and Muslims was equal. In the remaining 62 districts of the state, the sex ratio of Muslims was higher than that of the Hindus. There was a difference of 2-20 in 9 districts and 20-40 in 23 districts; the difference increased to 40-60 in another 22 districts. In the remaining 9 districts of the state the difference was quite significant. It was between 60-80 in four districts, namely Baghpat, Farrukhabad, Jalaun and Shrawasti and 80-100 in 3 districts i.e., Basti, Siddharth Nagar and Unnao. In the district of Moradabad and Balrampur difference increased to more than 100.

Child Sex-ratio

The last five decades in India have witnessed a steep fall in the overall child sex ratio. From 976 in 1961, it has gone down to 964 in 1971, and from 962 in 1981 to 953 in 1991, finally ebbing at 927 in 2001. There are two chief factors for these abysmal figures 1) high female infant mortality rate as compared to male infant mortality, and 2) high female foeticide. Both these factors are, in turn, a reflection of family discrimination against the girl child. Among all the social groups in the country, Muslims have the highest child sex ratio according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) statistics. With Muslims, it was recorded at 986 in the age group 0-5 in 1998-99. This ratio is much higher in comparison to the figures of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SCs/STs) (at 931), other Hindus (at 914) and other groups (at 859) (Report of Prime Minister's High Level Committee on Muslims, here onwards will be referred RPHLC, Govt. of India, 2006, 33-34).

The Census of India 2001 enumerated 915 'Girl Children' per one thousand male children in the age group 0-6 years in U. P. Their highest numbers were recorded among Muslims and Christians (935), followed by Buddhists (928), Hindus (910), Jains (846) and Sikhs (830)(Census of India, 2005). A comparative view of child sex ratio among Hindus and Muslims in different clusters of state districts is presented in Table No. 2 below.

The above table shows that in six districts the child sex ratio among Muslims was less than that of Hindus. In three districts, namely Kaushambi, Lalitpur and Jaunpur, the difference was only of 1, 3 and 4 points in 1000 respectively, whereas this difference increased to eleven points in another two districts, namely Pratapgarh and Shahjahanpur. The significant difference of 28 points existed only in one district. It was equal to Hindus in district Siddarth Nagar. In remaining 63 districts, it was higher than of the Hindus. If we consider a difference of 2-20 points, which existed in 19 districts, as not very significant, a difference of 21-100 points, which prevailed in 44 districts, was quite significant. A difference of 21-40 points was found in 25 districts, while the difference of 4160, 61-80, and 81-100 existed in 13, 4, and 2 districts, respectively.

If sex ratio were determined by various indicators of human development, prosperity, education, health, and hygienic conditions, Muslims would certainly have the lowest sex ratio among all religious communities of U. P., for they were the poorest community of the state with the highest rate of illiteracy. They were generally deprived of civic amenities and benefits of developmental schemes. Despite their negative socio-economic and educational condition, they have the highest sex ratio in the state. Why does it happen? Is it because of their gender-friendly beliefs, customs, and practices?

Gender Inequality in Literacy and School Education

Education is like oxygen to human beings and societies. It is critical to human resource development, economic growth, and social transformation. It is of higher importance for promoting freedom and capabilities of women. The Government of India has given much emphasis to promote literacy and education after independence. No doubt, the country has made tremendous progress in this regard during the last 65 years. The data reveal that educational facilities in terms of institutions, teachers, and infrastructure have expanded manifold. Even the participation of children in education has also substantially increased. It is particularly true for school education and more so for elementary education.

The Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) has been a priority area in the country right from independence. However, despite the Constitutional directive for it (Article 45), commitments given for it in various Committees and Commissions as well as in National Policies on Education and making 'Free and compulsory Elementary education to all children until the age of 14 years' a Fundamental Right, the goal of UEE has so far eluded the country. One-third of the population in the age group 7 and above remained illiterate until 2001. A very small fraction of the population had access to secondary and higher level education. Various kinds of inequality, i.e. regional, group and gender, persist in the system of Indian education.

It would be appropriate here to mention briefly the educational status of Muslims in post-independent India before presenting data of gender inequality among them. Findings of individual researches, organizational surveys, and government appointed committees/commissions demonstrate beyond any doubt that Muslims are not the most educationally backward community of the country, but they also continuously lag behind other communities. The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government. of India, declared them a 'National Educationally Backward Minority' in 1993. The findings of the RPHLC, set up in 2005 under the chairmanship of Justice Rajinder Sachar to enquire into the social, economic and educational status of Muslims, are a shocking eye-opener which unambiguously reveals that

* Muslims are at a double disadvantage with low levels of education combined with low quality education; their deprivation increases manifold as the level of education rises.

* The condition of Muslims in school education is miserable as they have lowest rate of enrollment in schools (78%), the lowest mean year of schooling (MYS) (3.4 years) and the highest rate of dropouts (25%) among all Socio-Religious Communities (SRCs). Only 17% of Muslims in the age group 17 and above, against a 26% national average, have completed matriculation. Indeed the miserable performance of Muslims at the matriculation level is a major hurdle for their entry into higher education. Their Graduate Attainment Rate (GAR) is less than 4% against a 7% national average. The rate of technical education is almost negligent among them. Their representation in premier educational institutions is abysmally low, i.e. 1.3% in all IIMs, 1.7% in B.Sc. Engg. courses of IITs and 4% in top medical colleges.

* The educational condition of Muslims is pathetic, yet gaps between them and other SRCs widen in all urban areas and states like Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal where they have substantial demographic concentration.

* The Socio-economic and educational condition of SCs/STs was recognized as inferior to that of Muslims at the time of independence. Now the situation has reversed, as SCs/STs have overtaken Muslims in several contexts. The gap between Muslims and SCs has enlarged especially since 1980. The Graduate Attainment Rate (GAR) of SCs and STs is higher than that of Muslims.(RPHLC: 2006)

In view of such a pathetic educational situation, one could speculate about more gender inequality among Muslims than among the other communities, as they might have preferred boys over girls to the limited educational opportunities available to them. Data in the following pages reveal a picture contrary to popular perception.

Literacy is the most basic indicator used to show the level of educational development of an area or group of population in India. The Census of India defines it as the ability to read and write with understanding in any national language. A person who can merely read but cannot write is not classified as literate. Any formal education or minimum educational standard is not necessary to be considered literate. The average literacy rate of the country was recorded at 65% with the gender gap at 21.59% in 2001. The literacy rate and gender gap in it differed from one religious community to another. With a 59% average literacy rate, Muslims were behind the national average by 6 percentage points. However, the gender gap among them was 4 percentage points below to the national average. The average literacy rate of religious communities and the gender gap among them is shown in table No. 3.

The average literacy rate (in the age group of 7 years and above) of U. P. was 57% in 2001, 8 percentage points below to the national average. The gender gap was quite high. About 67% males and 43% females were literate, resulting in a 24percentage point gender gap, 3 percentage points higher than the national average. The literacy rate was not uniform in all religious communities of the state. It was higher than the national average among Jains (94%), Christians (73%) and Sikhs (72%). The literacy rate of Hindus was 58 % while it was 57 % among Buddhists. With a 48 % literacy rate, Muslims were found to be the most illiterate religious community. However, the gender gap of 20% among them was less than the state average and that of Hindus and Buddhist. The gender gap in literacy across religious communities is presented in following Table No. 4.

A comparison between Hindus and Muslims at the district level shows that the former had the highest gender gap in literacy (42.32%) in district Chitrakoot and the lowest (0.79%) in district Moradabad; while the latter exhibited the highest gap (31.09%) in district Khushi Nagar and the lowest (9.93%) in district Luck-now. The gender gap among Hindus was less than that of Muslims in only 5 of the 70 districts of the state, namely Baghpat, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Ghaziabad, Kannauj and Moradabad. In the remaining districts, Muslims had less of a gender gap than Hindus.

A similar gender gap pattern may be seen in school education, which is classified into four categories, i.e. 'primary education': persons of age 12 years and above who have completed at least 5 years of education; 'middle level education': persons of age 15 years and above who have completed at least 8 years education; 'matriculation': persons who have matriculated (10 years of schooling) and are of at least 17 years of age; and 'higher secondary': persons who have completed the higher secondary or equivalent examination (12 years of schoolings) and are of 19 years of age or more. RPHLC presents the data of census 2001 for selected states, showing the educational status of male and female across social categories in the first three types of schooling. The data revealed the lowest gender gap (11.1%) among Muslims in primary level education in rural areas, while it was 19.1 per cent among Scheduled Castes (SCs )/Scheduled Tribes(STs) and 13.2 per cent among all others. Whereas in urban areas it was negligible (0.40%) among Muslims, it was 5.40 per cent among SCs/STs and 1.50 per cent among all others respectively. These figures are presented in Tables No. 5A and 5B below.

Middle Level Education

The situation was similar in Middle Level education. The gender gap at this level of education was 7.9 per cent among Muslims, whereas it was 14.4 per cent among SCs/STs and 13 per cent among all others in rural areas. The situation of Muslim women at the Middle Level of education appeared to be better than that of men in urban areas, resulting in a negative gender gap. In contrast, the gender gap among SCs/STs was 3.5% and zero percent among all others. These figures are presented in tables No. 6. A & 6. B below.

Matric Level Education

The gender gap was also lowest among Muslims at the Matric level of education in both rural and urban areas. It was 10.8 per cent, 14.3 percent, and 18 percent among Muslims, SCs/STs, and all others, respectively, in rural areas whereas in urban areas the gender gap among Muslims was below 1.2 percentage points, compared to that of all others, and 6.4 percentage points less than that of SCs/STs. The figures are presented in the following table No. 7.A & B.

These figures do not merely belie commonly held perceptions about Muslims as a community opposed to modern education of girls but also reveal less gender inequality among them than among other communities having more economic and political advantages.


It is evident from the preceding data and discussion that gender inequalities in mortality and natality are comparatively low among Muslims, manifested through more females in their population than in the population of other communities. Moreover, they do not discriminate against females in providing school education as much as other communities do. Generally, material condition and institutionalized socio-cultural practices play a significant role in producing and reproducing gender inequalities. If the variable of institutionalized social, cultural, and religious practices of Muslims and others was controlled, Muslims would have more gender inequalities than other communities as they are the most backward community on all indicators of human development. However, the reality is contrary to the expectation. Hence, it may be concluded that social structures and cultural practices of the Muslim community are more gender friendly than those of other communities. This is not to suggest that gender inequalities among Muslims would be less than those found in other communities in every sphere of life.. In some spheres like work-participation, higher education, and regular salaried employment, the gap between men and women may be wider among them as compared to the other communities. However, to explain this phenomenon only in terms of Muslim social structures and cultural practices, as many scholars do, would undermine the fact of favourable gender ratios in mortality, natality, and school education as compared with other communities. Logically it would be erroneous to explain Muslims as comparatively female-friendly in some spheres and atrocious to women in other spheres.


Census. (2001). Census of India 2001: Report on Religion Data (Series 10: Uttar Pradesh). Lucknow: Joint Director, Directorate of Census Operation, Uttar Pradesh and Uttranchal.

Fisher, Ronald Aylmer. 1930. The genetical theory of natural selection. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Hasan, Zoya, and Ritu Menon. 2004. Unequal citizens: a study of Muslim women in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Report of Prime Ministers High Level Committee on Muslims (RPHLC), GOI, 2006.

Report of the National Commission on Religious and Linguistic Minorities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, GOI, 2007.

Sen Amartya. 2001. Many Faces of Gender Inequality in Frontline, 18 (22) Oct. 27-Nov. 09, New Delhi.

Abdul Waheed

Department of Sociology

Afzal Sayeed

Research Scholar, Department of Social Work

Hajra Masood

Research Scholar, Department of Sociology

Sameera Khanam

Research Scholar, Department of Women Studies

Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.

Dr. Abdul Waheed is Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. He has produced valuable research on the issues faced by the Muslims as a minority in India. His recent work, co-authored with Mohammad Shahid, is Muslims and development deficit: micro realities in Uttar Pradesh. New Delhi: Serials Publications, 2012. E-mail:

Afzal Sayeed (MSW, M.Phil) is a research scholar in the Department of Sociology, AMU, Aligarh. He is investigating into issues of health policies implementation in rural India for his doctoral thesis. E-mail:

Ms Sameera Khannam (MSW) is a research scholar in Centre for Women Studies, AMU, Aligarh. She is pursuing her Ph.D on Reproductive Health in Indian Slums.

Ms. Hajra Masood is a Ph.D scholar in the Department of Sociology, AMU, Aligarh. She is enquiring into Gender Inequalities among Hindu and Muslim Rajputs of District Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh (India) for her doctoral thesis.
Table 1: Clusters of Districts According to
Sex-ratio of Muslims in Comparison to Hindus

S.            Difference of   Name of the Districts
No.           Nos./1000

A. Less
than Hindus

1             2-10            Ghazipur, Ambedkar Nagar,
                              Jaunpur, Gorakhpur

2             1-20            Azamgarh, Varanasi

3             21-30           Sant Ravidas Nagar

B. Equal
to Hindus

1             --              Chandauli

C. Greater
than Hindus

1             2-20            Ballia, Chitrakoot, Gautam
                              Buddha Nagar, Kheri,
                              Mau, Mirzapur, Rae Bareilly,
                              Saharanpur, Sonebhadra

2             21-40           Aligarh, Allahabad, Agra,
                              Bahraich, Bulandshahr,
                              Deoria, Faizabad, Ghaziab-
                              ad, Hathras, Hamirpur,
                              Jyotibaphule Nagar, Kanpur
                              Nagar, Kaushambi, Kheri,
                              Kushi Nagar, Lalitpur,
                              Lucknow, Muzzafar Nagar,
                              Maharajganj, Pilibhit,
                              Pratapgarh, Rampur, Sultanpur

3             41-60           Auriya, Bijnore, Buduan,
                              Bareilly, Banda, Barabanki,
                              Etah, Etawah, Fatehpur,
                              Ferozabad, Gonda, Hardoi,
                              Jhansi, Kannauj, Kanpur
                              Dehat, Meerut, Mathura,
                              Mainpuri, Mahoba, Shahja-
                              hanpur, Sant Kabir Nagar,

4             61-80           Baghpat, Farrukhabad,
                              Jalaun, Shrawasti

5             81-100          Basti, Siddharth
                              Nagar, Unnao

6             101 & Above     Balrampur, Moradabad

Source: Computed from Uttar Pradesh, Census of India 2001,
Report on Religion Data,

Table 2: Clusters of Districts According to
Child Sex-ratio of Muslims in Comparison to Hindus

S.                   Difference    Name of the Districts
NO.                  of Nos./1000

A. Less than Hindus

1                    2-10          Jaunpur, Kaushambi, Lalitpur

2                    11-20         Pratapgarh, Shahjahanpur

3                    21-30         Chitrakoot

B. Equal to Hindus

1                    --            Siddharth Nagar

C. Greater than

1                    2-20          Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh,
                                   Banda, Barabanki, Ballia,
                                   Chandauli, Fatehpur, Faizabad,
                                   Ghazipur, Hamirpur, Kheeri,
                                   Kushi Nagar, Muzaffar Nagar,
                                   Mirzapur, Rae Bareilly,
                                   Shajahanpur, Sant Kabir Nagar,
                                   Sonebhadra, Varanasi

2                    21-40         Allahabad, Bijnore, Badaun,
                                   Bahraich, Balrampur, Basti,
                                   Deoria, Etawah, Gonda,
                                   Gorakhpur, Hathras, Hardoi,
                                   Jhansi, Kannauj, Kanpur Dehat,
                                   Lucknow, Moradabad, Mathura,
                                   Maharajganj, Mau, Rampur,
                                   Shrawasti, Sant Ravidas Nagar,
                                   Sitapur, Unnao

3                    41-60         Aligarh, Agra, Auraiya,
                                   Bulandshahr, Bareilly, Etah,
                                   Farukkhabad, Ferozabad,
                                   Jyotibhaphule Nagar, Gautam
                                   Buddha Nagar, Jalaun,
                                   Mainpuri, Mahoba,

4                    61-80         Ghaziabad, Kanpur Nagar,
                                   Meerut, Pilibhit

5                    81-100        Baghpat, Saharanpur

6                    101 & Above   X

Source: Computed from Uttar Pradesh, Census of India 2001,
"Report on Religion Data", Series 10, 2005.

Table No. 3: Gender gap in Literacy

Literacy     94.08%   80.25%   72.66%   69.45%
Gender Gap   6.82%    8.18%    21.44%   12.14%

Literacy     65.09%   64.84%   59.1%
Gender Gap   22.95%   21.59    17.47%

(Quoted from Report of National Commission
on Religious and Linguistic Minorities,
Government of India 2007: Pages 46-47)

Table 4: Gender Gap in Literacy across
Religious Communities in Uttar Pradesh

             Average   Male   Female   Gender Gap

Total        57        67     43       24
Hindus       58        72     43       29
Muslims      48        58     38       20
Christians   73        78     68       10
Sikhs        72        79     64       15
Buddhist     57        71     41       30
Jains        94        96     91       5
Others       64        75     52       23

(Computed from Census of India 2001)

Table No. 5.A: Gender Gap in Primary Level Education (Rural)

             Male   Female   Gap

Muslims      58.9   47.8     11.1
SCs/STs      66.1   47.0     19.1
All Others   80.8   67.6     13.2

Source: Estimated From Appendix Table No 4.6 of RPHLC

Table No. 5.B: Gender Gap in Primary Level Education (Urban)

             Male   Female   Gap

Muslims      71.3   70.9     0.40
SCs/STs      80.2   74.8     5.40
All Others   89.6   88.1     1.50

Source: Estimated From Appendix Table No 4.6 of RPHLC

Table No. 6.A: Gender Gap in Middle Level Education (Rural)

             Male   Female   Gap (%)

Muslims      37.3   29.4     7.9
SCs/STs      43.7   29.3     14.4
All Others   62.0   49.0     13.0

Source: Estimated from appendix table no 4.7 RPHLC

Table No. 6.B: Gender Gap in Middle Level
Education (Urban)

             Male   Female   Gap

Muslims      49.6   51.1     -1.5
SCs/STs      59.8   56.3     3.5
All Others   76.7   76.7     0.0

Source: Estimated From Appendix Table No 4.7 RPHLC

Table No. 7.A: Gender Gap in Matric Level Education (Rural)

             Male   Female   Gap

Muslims      22.0   11.2     10.8
SCs/STs      24.5   10.2     14.3
All Others   41.8   23.8     18

Estimated From Appendix Table No 4.8 RPHLC

Table No. 7.B: Gender Gap in Matric Level Education (Urban)

             Male   Female   Gap

Muslims      36.1   32.2     3.9
SCs/STs      42.1   31.8     10.3
All Others   63.0   57.9     5.1

Source: Estimated From Appendix Table No 4.8 RPHLC
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Author:Waheed, Abdul; Sayeed, Afzal; Masood, Hajra; Khanam, Sameera
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Women's Studies: Alam-e-Niswan
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jun 1, 2014
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Next Article:Hijab: a sociological analysis of the use and advantages of hijab among female university students in Pakhtun society.

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