Adolescent Girls in India

India has one of the fastest growing youth populations in the world, and one fourth of the population is made up of adolescent girls. Within the family, girls receive less health care, education, nutrition and fewer opportunities for employment than boys.

Adolescent girls are often forced to do household work, take care of their siblings, drop out of school, and marry and have children early. They are at a higher risk of human trafficking for sexual exploitation and of getting HIV/AIDS.

What is Girl Up doing in India?

Girl Up supports the Action for Adolescent Girls initiative, run by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in the Rajasthan region of India. The goal of the program is to protect adolescent girls’ rights and help girls delay marriage and have children when they are ready. The program educates girls and women on important health issues and make them more aware of public services available to them. Additionally, the program aims to educate girls – who are both in and out of school – as well as provide them with vocational skills so they are able to one day earn an income.

Some highlights of the program include:

  • Offering youth-friendly health and nutrition information
  • Creating networks of adolescent peer educators for girls to meet and learn from one another
  • Connecting girls with mentors
  • Training basic life skills, including home-based and vocational skills, to help girls earn an income and play a greater role in their communities
  • Supporting enrollment in formal and non-formal educational institutions
  • Giving girls information and access to public services available to them
  • Educating married adolescent girls on sexual and reproductive health issues

About India

India occupies much of the South Asian subcontinent. India is the second most populous nation in the world with a population of more than 1.2 billion. It is the world’s largest democracy, and a multi-lingual state.

Four religions — Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism — originated in India, and the country is home to the ancient Indus civilization and historic trade routes and empires. It has one of the fastest growing industrialized economies in the world.