“Losses in lifetime productivity and earnings for girls of not completing 12 years of education at $15 trillion to $30 trillion dollars globally.” World Bank
Economic cost of not educating a girl is high. More so because of its close interlinkage with education, child marriage, and early childbearing.
India is no exception. With near 48 percent of girls below 18 with no education married vis-à-vis 4 percent with higher education, the difference is stark.
As a father of two young girls, I consider myself fortunate to having the wherewithal to support and give wings to the dreams of my young girls. But there are many adolescent girls who, despite the want, do not have access to quality skill education and economic opportunities.
Endeavouring to change this narrative is Project Manzil. Implemented by IPE Global, the programme partners with Rajasthan State and Livelihoods Development Corporation (RSLDC) to ensure that girls from rural and marginalized backgrounds who drop out of schools are empowered and, can make their own choice, thereby preventing early marriage and pregnancy.
Having played a pivotal role in contributing to the success story of some of the girls, I was moved beyond words to see these confident girls being celebrated on National Girl Child Day as part of the programme’s two -year intervention in the state of Rajasthan. The 450+ girls’ present had broken the norms; stepped out from their comfort zone only to learn and earn. It was a proud moment for me and the entire programme team. For a moment, thoughts about the lives of my daughters, their journey, opportunities they had in life flashed through my mind. It made me cognisant of the struggles of these girls versus the more privileged ones’…
We are already mid-way to Agenda 2030. Child marriage not only shatters the girls’ dreams, it also hampers efforts to end poverty and achieve economic growth and equity. Education is a powerful medium, and when complemented with skill based employability skills through programmes like Manzil, attempts to continue and strengthen conversations around women economic and inclusive growth to achieved the Sustainable Development Goals
MK Padma Kumar COO, IPE Global
Works with IPE Global and handled several projects supporting women empowerment. He has been instrumental in the launch of Manzil – Meri Beti Meti Shaan in six districts of Rajasthan – Udaipur, Jaipur, Tonk, Ajmer, Bhilwara and Dungarpur and 295 schools. The programme aims to promote economic liberty among young women – building their agency and enabling them to take decision on their age of marriage and first pregnancy.