Gender Dynamics of Adulthood Transitions for Early School Leavers: A case of Indian Youths

Tapan Chakrabarty, North Eastern Hill University
Jayanta Deb, North Eastern Hill University

BACKGROUND India has witnessed an improved enrolment in schools due to the right to education (RTE) act in place, however, a large number of students stop schooling right after the guaranteed education under this act ends at the age of 14. While it is commonly assumed that early school-leavers will become child workers, in fact little is known about the gender dynamics of transitions to adulthood. OBJECTIVE Using the retrospective data from a survey "Youth in India: Situation and Needs 2006-2007" from six Indian states, the present study examines gender differences in adulthood transitions following their exit from the school system. RESULTS A significant differential in adulthood transitions patterns by gender and by place of residence is evident. Male and female early school leavers have significantly different likelihood of transitions to early entry into work vis-a-vis marriage in terms of timing and sequence. CONCLUSION Female early school-leavers are likely to spend a longer time without work and unmarried and potentially at high risk of social exclusion, relative to their male counterparts. Qualitative insights suggest that adolescent dropouts who enter employment early are better off in their young adulthood than those who experience inactivity prior to adulthood.

Keywords: Life course analysis, Gender, Children and youth

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 55. Life Course Approaches to the Transition to Adulthood