Join us and our new partner Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT) as we train 105 girl leaders in New Delhi to fight early and forced marriage using media and technology.
Increased migration from rural areas to cities has created communities of migrants in many parts of India. In Delhi, most of these communities have little to no sanitation, inadequate health, education, security and transportation infrastructure.
Girls and young women in these contexts are particularly at risk of violence, discrimination, and poverty. Despite living in a metropolitan area and being surrounded by opportunities, most of these girls are denied basic education, healthcare, and security.
Unaware of their rights, they are also at risk of early and forced marriage, limiting their life choices and pushing them and their future families deeper into a cycle of poverty.
India has the largest number of child brides in the world, one-third of the global total. The National Health Profile from 2015 noted that 61 percent of women in India (69 percent in rural areas and 31 in urban areas) were married before the age of 16. There are laws to prevent child marriage but enforcement is not uniform across the country.
ODW + FAT
Our new partner, FAT has been working with girls and young women from these vulnerable communities for the last 7 years. Our partnership with FAT will enable 105 girls to attend The Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP). This program focuses on the leadership development of girls using tech, media, and practical experience in their communities.
Level 1: Girls start the program by learning basic computer and Internet related skills, and are then taught about their rights and responsibilities. This helps them to connect the discrimination that they see around them with discrimination faced by others across the country and world. At the same time they learn to advocate for control of their lives within their families and community.
Level 2: The girls who want to learn advanced technical skills and go deeper into understanding their rights move on to Level 2. Here they learn about human rights, policies and laws, and focus on issues that affect their lives. After learning technical skills like photography, filmmaking, radio-show making, and design software, they run a community project of their own using this expertise.
Level 3: The girls who are passionate about pursuing work related to their rights, move on to Level 3, where they get professional training on how to work in the community development sector and take on leadership roles at FAT. They intern with other organizations and are given funds to run mini projects in their communities on issues of their choice. Ten young women have now completed this stage, three are now core team members with FAT, three are interns with FAT, two are interns with other non-profits, and two have chosen to work outside of the development sector.
Through their own example, these young leaders will go on to raise awareness about early and forced marriages, as well as other forms of violence and discrimination they experience in their communites, and inspire their peers to take control of their lives.
Join us and our partner FAT to train girl leaders in New Delhi to use tech and media as creative forms of positive expression and advocacy. One Day’s Wages will match your gift to this campaign up to $15,005, for a total grant of $30,010.
In 2013, Lalita joined the Young Women’s Leadership Program as a quiet girl studying in 12th standard. She had no interest in science or mathematics and barely understood what she had learned about these subjects in school. A quick learner, she progressively moved through FAT’s program within two years, and then became an intern at the Jugaad Lab of FAT. While working there, Lalita relearned what she had missed at school as she helped the team and rediscovered her curiosity. Now she takes classes at the Jugaad Lab on a study plan teaching girls STEM subjects.
In 2015 Lalita helped start a girl-led campaign, Todo Bandishen (Break the Chains), to end early and forced marriages. She traveled to multiple states outside Delhi and spoke to large audiences about the campaign and it’s work. Though her parents still control small aspects of her life like her clothes and friends, what she learned through FAT programs has enabled Lalita to live life on her terms. She ignores the constant pressure to get married and aims to get formal teaching skills so she can become a full-time trainer at the Jugaad Lab, igniting young minds with a passion for science and technology.
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