“There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls and the empowerment of women.” –Kofi Annan, former U.N. secretary-general
Girls in India do not have the same opportunities as their male peers when it comes to education. The disparity is especially great in the rural areas of Rajasthan, where girls typically receive little education beyond primary school due to a combination of complex issues involving poverty, negative views on girls’ education, child labor, child marriage, teen motherhood, health problems, inadequate resources for menstruating girls and fears of sexual harassment and rape by male classmates and teachers.
As a result, an estimated 70% of girls in our adopted village Bhikamkor do not receive a secondary education (compared to approximately 40% of boys).
To address the education gap in Bhikamkor, IPHD introduced the Girls’ Education Program in 2016. The program aims to improve girls’ access to high-quality education by sponsoring girls to go to school and involving the community in a multi-pronged approach of advocacy, sponsorship and follow-up. Read our Girls’ Education Model to learn more.
The Youth Feminism and Human Rights projects hope to to tackle inequality and mistreatment on the basis of gender, caste and religion in the village by leading educational workshops to secondary school students.
IPHD also opened a library in the Saheli Community Center to foster a love of learning and run after school programs such as art and English lessons that are free and open to all of Bhikamkor’s girls and boys.
In the Girls’ Education Program, IPHD employs six Bhikamkor women — two as education advocates, three as part-time school teachers and one as the Saheli Community Center librarian.