Adolescent Girls

India has 120 million adolescent girls, accounting for nearly 10% of its population. Despite their numbers, girls in India are a largely invisible population. Prevailing socio-cultural customs and norms leave them powerless to decide and build their future. Within this context, Dasra is working towards creating an environment in which girls are safe, seen and celebrated, creating a catalytic change leading to healthier and more prosperous families, communities and societies.


Causes

Learn about causes that deserve urgent attention in India and leading social organizations spearheading transformation on the ground.
  • Keeping Girls in Secondary Schools

    In 2010, India had the third highest number of out of school girls in the world. Investing in girls' education and empowering them to be opinion leaders and decision makers can address many challenges that plague Indian society: maternal and child health, population explosion and gender based...

  • Employability for Adolescent Girls

    Adolescence, for many marginalized girls in India, means an interrupted school education, lack of agency and limited control over their own lives and decisions. Employability programs work with girls to help them complete their school education and build skills that link them to formal employment...

  • Empowering Adolescent Girls

    Despite having the largest population of adolescent girls in the world, biased behaviours and mindsets about adolescent girls are fairly universal across India, and are manifested in key aspects of their lives – gender-based discrimination, early marriage and pregnancy, lack of education and a...

  • Improving Sexual and Reproductive Health for Adolescents

    Adolescents represent a significant demographic transitioning into adulthood. During this transition, they experience rapid change and heightened vulnerability which, without the right information and resources, could impact their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

  • Confronting Domestic Violence

    A survey by ICRW in India found that girls married before age 18 – 47% of girls in India – were thrice as likely to be forced into sex and twice as likely to report being slapped, beaten or threatened by their husbands than girls who married later. Dasra’s report, No Private Matter, highlights...

  • Ending Child Marriage

    At the current rate, 28 million girls born between 2005 and 2010 will become child brides by 2030. This can be changed and Dasra’s report, Marry Me Later, tells us how. The report not only probes the problem and its impact on adolescent girls but also offers scalable non-profit models that are...

  • Improving Menstrual Health and Hygiene

    75% of adolescent girls suffer from infections and health disorders during menstruation. Menstruation is the second major reason, after household work, for girls to miss schools. Dasra’s report Spot On! highlights key challenges and solutions in the menstrual hygiene management sector, along with...

  • Nourishing Adolescent Girls

    After the first year, girls grow fastest in the 10-12 age group. Adolescence offers a key window of opportunity to both, make up for childhood growth deficiencies and give girls a strong nutritional base to cope well with menstruation and childbirth. Dasra’s report, Three Square Meals, advocates...

  • Leveraging Sport for Development

    Global evidence reveals that participation in sport has the potential to prevent disease, increase school attendance, improve learning levels, foster gender equity, enhance inclusion of persons with disabilities, and build skills that promote employment and economic development. Adolescent girls...

  • Improving Sanitation and Hygiene for Adolescent Girls

    Poor access to sanitation and hygiene facilities makes adolescent girls more vulnerable to the risk of sexual harassment and rape, undermining their confidence as well as their own evaluation of their changing identity.This is a cohort that is desperate for a change in this space, and can...

  • Leveraging technology to improve maternal, newborn and child health

    In India, 22% of girls have given birth by age 18. Those under 15 are 5x as likely to die during child birth than women in their early 20s. With a billion mobile phone and over a million broadband connections, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can address the critical...


Insights

Gain perspective on emerging discussions shaping the development landscape in India.
  • Laying the foundation for collaborative action

    Highlighting the significance of a collaborative approach to address the issues surrounding India’s adolescents, this report goes a step further to share actionable insights on designing and facilitating a large-scale multistakeholder collaborative.  

  • Impact At Scale

    India is home to the largest number of illiterate women in the world (over 200 million), and over 3.7 million girls out of school. Estimates show that girls in India average less than four years of education, roughly 40% leave school before they reach Class 5, and for every 100 girls, only one...

  • Enhancing School Sanitation

    A lack of toilets in India’s public spaces, especially in schools, is disproportionately impacting the lives of adolescent girls – negatively impacting their health and their education. For example, a lack of toilets in schools can force young girls to hold their bladders for long periods of time...

  • Engaging Men and Boys in Women's Development

    As of 2014, on an average, 92 women were raped every day in India. Rigid gender norms and stereotypes reinforced over generations in a largely patriarchal society remain the root cause of discrimination against women in India. Social expectations of how men and boys should be and act directly...

  • Grantmaking with a Gender Lens

    Girls are 6 times less likely to get married as children if they have access to secondary schooling. Additionally, if India enrolled 1% more girls in secondary school, its GDP would rise by $5.5 billion. India also has the highest proportion of underweight (47%) and anemic (56%) adolescent girls...