Pattern of female literacy and gender variation in North-East India

Aradhana Dutta, Dibyajyoti Saikia


The quality of human population of any society can be judged through its literacy level. Literacy particularly female literacy plays a significant role in the social advancement and economic development of a region. North East India recorded a low level of female literacy in the past because of its isolated location and social taboo and restriction in female outdoor activities. However in independent India the progress in female literacy is significant. Though there has been progress, the gender gap in literacy was not covering till 2001 which remained wide. In 2011, significant progress in female literacy is observed recording 59.94 percent female literacy as against 68.99 percent male literacy. Besides, significant spatial disparity in respect of female literacy is observed across the region. Among the seven states of the region viz, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, the state Mizoram recorded the highest female literacy rate during the post independence period. Interestingly Mizoram ranked second in both male and female literacy among the states of India as per census of India, 2011. An attempt has been in this paper to analyze the changing pattern of female literacy in all the districts of North East India and the sex disparity in literacy in the region.


Female literacy, social advancement, gender gap, economic development

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Published by Centre for Environment, Education and Economic Development (CEEED), Assam.