The Position of Women
The position of women varies very greatly from one part of the state to another. The written laws may be uniform throughout the country. In the unwritten laws of custom, the position of women is very unequal. Whatever a daughter receives from her parents, when she marries becomes the property of her husband, at her death it goes to her children.
Education Of Women
Unmarried women may not go out alone, even if well over forty. A middle aged spinster has an unhappy life. A few women of exceptional ability have succeeded in overcoming these disadvantages and acquiring considerable influence. Girls are slowly beginning to obtain greater freedom. In the so-called lower classes, the position of the women is different. In the rural areas and among the so-called lower castes, husband leave their wives at their will and let them re-marry. There are many families in every village and city where ‘purdah’ is still observed.
With regard to education, the law makes no difference between the sexes. Non-technical and technical schools and the universities are open to women. There are special colleges for girls, public and private, but those who desire post graduate training are encouraged to go to the co-educational colleges and universities. At the universities the proportion of the male students is larger than that of the girls. Medicine, natural science and humanities are the faculties particularly favoured by women. The education of the average women given in the regular schools consists of three R’s, the rudiments of civics, hygiene, domestic science, English and vernacular composition. Among a certain set of the upper classes of late women go in for higher education in a missionary school or convent. The great majority of Bihar women are quite uneducated. The level of literacy of men is much greater than that of women. The husband may be a man of learning and education, well read, a man of the word, but his wife is a mere housewife. It is difficult sometimes to find a suitable boy to marry a highly educated girl.