VIDEO: Empowering adolescent girls in rural Nepal

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In the video, Ganga Gautam, 2016 Echidna Global Scholar and professor of English at Tribhuvan University in Nepal, describes the state of girls’ education in rural Nepal. His research details the key barriers that adolescent girls face to staying in school. The research is centered on a girls’ empowerment program that he and a team of local leaders led in Nepal with 75 girls from across 15 schools. The program spanned five days and was designed to demystify taboo topics for adolescent girls, their parents, and their teachers, as well as to offer girls the opportunities to develop life skills such as leadership, time management, and problem solving.

One year after the program, Ganga interviewed half of the original participants and found that all remained in school. Fifty percent reported better communication with their parents, 40 percent reported fewer chores, and the girls stopped three early marriages. While the program was limited in scope, Ganga finds sufficient evidence to justify expansion of the program, while addressing key gaps from the pilot program.

Read Ganga’s full report here. To learn more about the Echidna Global Scholars Program, please visit our webpage and series page.

VIA : Brookings

About the Joint Programme

Under the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education (Better Life, Better Future), the Joint Programme on Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women through Education is implemented jointly by UNESCO, UN Women and UNFPA to promote girls’ education and empowerment in a multi-sectoral approach. The Joint Programme aims to invest in the education sector, but also to strengthen linkages with health and other relevant sectors to better empower women and girls and contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Over an initial period of five years (2016-2021), the goal is to reach to adolescent girls (10-19 years) and young women (20-24 years) in as many countries as possible where challenges to their education remain significant. With the generous financial support of 15 million USD from the Republic of Korea, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the implementation of the Joint Programme will soon be initiated in Mali, Nepal and Tanzania. Activities in these countries will be strategically built into the interface between education, health, skills development, technology and women’s economic empowerment. Ministries, civil society and other stakeholders will be engaged in finalizing and implementing country plans to ensure country ownership.

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Areas of focus

Leveraging the expertise and experience of partner UN agencies in a multi-sectoral and comprehensive approach, the Joint Programme aims to support not only investments through the education sector, but also to strengthen linkages with health, labour, social affairs and other relevant sectors, through four complementary components:

  • Component 1: Improving the quality and relevance of education for adolescent girls and young women
  • Component 2: Strengthening linkages between the health and education sectors to respond to the needs of adolescent girls at risk of adolescent pregnancy and school dropout
  • Component 3: Fostering enabling environments and strengthening inter-sectoral coordination and governance
  • Component 4: Building the data and evidence-base needed for gender-responsive education policies and actions

How you can contribute

Grounded in the collective commitment of three UN agencies, UNESCO, UN Women, UNFPA, their expertise and shared vision to achieve the 2030 Agenda, the Joint Programme provides a solid platform for Member States, donors, foundations, the private sector and other stakeholders that are interested and committed to the promotion of gender equality and girls’ and women’s empowerment to come on board as partners.

If you are interested in becoming a funding partner to the Joint Programme, please contact UNESCO, which serves as the Administrative Agent and manages the Joint Programme funds, at the following address: 

Mr Shantha Retnasingam
Chief, Private and Multilateral Funding Sources
Bureau for Strategic Planning
7 place Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France
Tel.: +33 (0) 1 45 68 22 79 / Fax: +33 (0) 1 45 68 55 07
Email: [email protected](link sends e-mail)

Download the brochures

Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women through Education: A Joint Programme by UNESCO, UN Women, UNFPA and the World Bank

Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women
through Education: information for funding partner


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