Research consistently shows that girls who stay in school increase their chances of improved health and income. Girls who complete high school are:
- Three times less likely to contract HIV
- Will have fewer, healthier and better educated children
- Earn better, reinvest 90% of what they earn into their families, and increase the economic growth of their countries
- Are better prepared for decision making and are more involved in their communities*
There are, however, many barriers that keep girls away from school. These include poverty and family dependence on girls’ labour; lack of facilities and support at school; poor academic performance (linked to these other factors); teasing and harassment by boys; and gender norms that prioritise boys’ education and undervalue girls and women. Samata is a programme that has been implemented by the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) which aims to address these challenges and improve the quality of life of adolescent girls in two districts of northern Karnataka, a state in South West India. The programme will provide girls with tuition, counselling and training; link families to government incentives and support community action for girls’ education; work with parents and boys on the importance of girls’ education and rights; and initiate measures to increase girls’ safety and academic success. KHPT is one of the research partners within STRIVE, a six-year research consortium led from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development.
The STRIVE consortium has produced a short film about Samata, “On Our Own Two Feet”. The film documents the views and experiences of girls, boys, parents, schools and officials. You can find out more about Samata here.
Watch the video:
*Information from the STRIVE Research Consortium and Karnataka Health Promotion Trust