Humari Gudiya Campaign

Education gender gap and India

At the UN’s Millennium Summit, some 100 heads of various countries adopted the following two amongst eight of the Millennium Development Goals(MDG):

  • Ensure that by 2015 all children have access to, and complete, free education of good quality
  • Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to, and achievement in, basic good quality education.

India, mainly due its social structure that is highly male driven and dominated, witness massive gender disparity. In a typical female lifecycle in the Indian context, often urban and rural alike, the female struggles right from the womb as female infanticide is one of the most shameful social evil that lays well rooted. Once she has survived that, she struggles for equal right to food, education, and clothing as against the male child who is always far more cared for as compared to his female sibling.

While there is global acceptance that both girls and boys have equal rights to basic education, this recognition is a very distant future for a very large proportion of girls in India.

"A quality inclusive education for all is the key to achieving each and every one of the Millennium Development Goals, from reducing poverty to improving health, empowering women and ensuring environmental sustainability."
Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General

In keeping with the GIDF’s main aim of poverty reduction, a programme focussed on closing the gap of gender inequality in education was considered to be of very high priority. We believe that denying education to a girl child is not only denial of a basic human right but also a key cause of a poor family’s inability to progress. An UNFPA report in the year 2002 states that children of women who have never received education are 50% more likely to suffer from malnutrition or die before the age of 5 years. Education gives women the confidence to make well informed decision for herself and her family.

Unfortunately, despite these realities, literacy ratio between females to males in India was as skewed as 45:68 till the year 2000

GIDF’s initiative in closing the education gender gap

In the year 2008, GIDF initiated a highly focussed programme to address the issue of gender inequality by implementing the ‘Humari Gudiya’ campaign. The main theme of the campaign is to create awareness around the girl child’s right to education along with other rights that are equal to that of a male sibling. Our humble beginning involved speaking to parents through the TARA project about enrolling their daughters in our Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres or primary schools (as the case may be). While a common viewpoint may be that in most cases parents resist enrolling girl child to school due to social environment, a recent research in this area indicates that parents’ resistance on its own is not always the most important factor behind low figures of girl child enrolments and completion of schooling. Studies have shown that while parents understand the importance of education for girls in the changing world, their desire to send their daughters to school is often repressed by variables such as cost of education, abuse risks, and safety concerns for the daughters.

GIDF’s Humari Gudiya campaign was the first of its kind in the 18 ECD centres (TARA projects) where it was started. Below are some key facts andfigures about the campaign:

  • Humari Gudiya campaign led to extensive counselling to parents and families of communities around our ECD centres.
  • In a short span of 18 months we have spoken to 2500 parent(s) encouraging them to enrol their daughters in school, emphasizing on creating positive environment so the girl completes her schooling and has access to choice of higher education.
  • While our key message is to provide the girl child an equal chance, we often give comprehensive guidance on ‘empowerment of women’ as an important tool for breaking out of the poverty cycle.
  • In addition to the above, we organize open information dissemination sessions where we include issue about around closing the gender gap in education and closing gender inequalities on all other areas like right to healthy nutrition for the girl child.

Join GIDF’s ‘Humari Gudiya’ campaign today!

ACM GIDF’s Humari Gudiya campaign is focused towards promoting girl child in India. You too can be a part of this campaign by sponsoring the education of child. To do so, click here:

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