Project #124 | Preventing Early Marriage through Tech and Leadership in India
Our partnership with Feminist Approach to Technology
India has the largest number of child brides in the world, one-third of the global total. The National Health Profile noted that 61 percent of women in India were married before the age of 16. Early and forced marriage often limits their life choices, pushing them and their future families deeper into the cycle of poverty.
We partnered with Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT) to empower young women through closing the gender gap in science and technology. FAT believes that every girl has the potential to be a leader and a change-maker, using technology education to facilitate this leadership. Our partnership enabled five young women to hold paid internship positions at FAT, giving them agency through partial financial independence, as well as assisting in funding their further education and career aspirations. These opportunities aid in expanding opportunity for young women, breaking the cycle of poverty perpetuated by early and forced marriages. Through their own example, these young leaders will go on to inspire their peers to pursue their ambitions as well as raise awareness about early and forced marriages.
Our collective impact
Girls Empowered with Vocational Training
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.
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.
If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our girls’ empowerment fund.