GIRLS’ EDUCATION PROGRAM

The Problem:

More than 90 million girls in India are illiterate.

Regardless of the laws, policies and schemes available for the education of girls, one wonders why girls are not in schools?

Social and cultural norms pose a lot of restrictions too, due to which girls are unable to enjoy freedom. Girls experience multiple forms of discrimination and violence in different contexts. Families normally give preference of education to their sons, seeing them as future earners. A majority of girls are either engaged in agricultural activities or household chores, specifically being in-charge of sibling care. Hence, they don’t get the opportunity to attend school.

HERE ARE THE THREE MAIN REASONS GIRLS DROP OUT OF SCHOOL

  • 1
    Family Pressure

    Social and cultural norms pose a lot of restrictions too, due to which girls are unable to enjoy freedom. Girls experience multiple forms of discrimination and violence in different contexts. Families normally give preference of education to their sons, seeing them as future earners. A majority of girls are either engaged in agricultural activities or household chores, specifically being in-charge of sibling care. Hence, they don’t get the opportunity to attend school.

  • 2
    Child Marriage

    Though child marriage is illegal in India, estimates suggest that each year, at least 1.5 million girls under 18 get married, which makes it home to the largest number of child brides in the world - accounting for a third of the global total. Nearly 16 percent of adolescent girls aged 15-19 are currently married.

    Girls are forced into early marriage by their families because they are considered to be a liability. Parents worry about their daughters’ safety especially after puberty and therefore resort to marrying them off at an early age. For this reason, sending a girl to school seems futile to these families.

  • 3
    No Toilets

    Girls who attend school are often forced to share a common toilet with male students. Without separate restroom facilities, girls often drop out of school because they don’t have private restrooms and safe places for sanitary necessities. Often, schools have poorly designed facilities for girls, disregarding the consideration for the disposal of menstrual wastes.

    In addition, girls who manage to attend school are given free education only up to eighth grade, after which they are required to pay for their own books, uniforms, and other educational supplies. Because of this, and other factors, there is an alarming dropout rate of girls after eighth grade.

The Response

One Life to Love’s Girl Education Program (GEP) addresses the three main reasons girls drop out of school in order to increase their enrollment rate in primary education and to ensure they graduate high school.

Through the GEP, OLTL is improving the conditions by which girls, especially those in the marginalized communities, can access quality education. GEP provides technical support while working through the formal school systems as well as through the integrated programs of One Life to Love.

GEP is committed to enable effective implementation of education provisions and policies for rights, entitlement and empowerment of girls from most marginalized sections of the society in safe and secure, inclusive and gender responsive environments.

Since OLTL’s GEP intervention, the drop-out rate in our community has reduced by half.

Read about the three areas of GEP’s focus:

OLTL conducts surveys in the villages and slums where we work. We identify girls who are not enrolled in school, have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out.

With the help of local officials and school personnel, we determine the reason/s why the parents are not supporting their daughter/s’ education and provide counseling and information that substantiates the importance of education for girls. If there is a financial burden, OLTL will provide free education and education materials for the longevity of the girl’s studies.

Hadjara

What is PERIOD POVERTY?

The cultural shame attached to menstruation and a shortage of resources stop women from going to school and working every day. Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, and, or, waste management.

Read about: How OLTL is Addressing Period Poverty?


STORIES OF LOVE GEP

Read about the lives transformed.

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