“Literacy now is not just learning to read and write but a way to develop skills, earn livelihood and be a productive member of the family.”
—Rani, 16, Deesa, Gujarat
You have seen the profound impact education has had on businesses, communication, and daily lives—but what does it mean for the future of girls in India where only 40% have completed 12th grade, let alone higher education?
This year, Share & Care interviewed girls throughout Gujarat, as a pilot project, to answer that question. The resultant report closely examines the state of girls in India, for whom pursuing higher studies means moving upward and living in urban areas where jobs are plenty and dignified. What new opportunities, and new dangers, arise from these changes?
We want to share with you through real life stories, what it’s like to be a girl in our rapidly changing landscape of India. You will see the migration to an urban world and competitive training through their eyes, giving their aspirations a new meaning.
We have found that many girls who move to urban areas have access to better education, health care and economic opportunities, and girls trained in employable skills are better equipped to find good jobs and expand their horizons.
But we've also found that prejudice and poverty are excluding girls from taking advantage of these transformative possibilities. Sixty percent of girls in urban slums and villages of India drop out before they reach high school. Our findings capture the hope—as well as fears and frustrations—these changes bring to some girls.