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UNDP seeks to empower India’s young women

Posted on October 19, 2018
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Empower India’s young women

Anjana, an 18-year-old, is about to complete her school education in Mangolpuri, a neighborhood in the northwest of Delhi. She now approaches the transition from education to work. Her family, much to her disappointment, has begun thinking of an early marriage for her. Coming from a rural background, quite inevitably they aren’t equipped to make decisions for her future education.

As per reports, 67 percent of girls in rural India do not work after graduation. Female labour force participation rates have been sinking in India, with a steep fall between 2005 and 2010.

Project Disha

IKEA Foundation, the India Development Foundation and the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) have come up with the Disha project. They seek to empower young women and address issues that stop them from seizing opportunities to improve their lives. Young women like Anjana act as catalysts for such initiative.

The Disha project brings together key stakeholders in government, business, and civil society. It develops models that cater to women’s needs and aspirations while providing them guidance and counselling services.

In Delhi, the Disha project collaborated with DOE (Directorate of Education) to support young women during their education-to-work transition. This included one-to-one career counselling, an online platform giving them information on higher education, skills training, and employment options. Over 400,000 students partook in the project, and Anjana was one of them.

Showing Them Path To A Brighter Future

Two months after the counseling across schools in Delhi, each student received a 16-page report on their aptitude, personality, and interest. Anjana’s report revealed that she has high creative potential that should help her seize jobs involving social interactions. It has further helped her convince her parents for her higher education.

It is believed that in the long run, this initiative will not only help individuals but will cater to India’s overall economic development.

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