Adolescent Girls in India Choose a Better Future

Date: June 23, 2011
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India has one of the fastest growing youth populations in the world, with an estimated 190 million adolescents. Girls below 19 years of age comprise one quarter of India’s rapidly growing population. The majority is out of school and has limited choices available for the future. Girls are caught in the cycle of early marriage, repeated pregnancy and poverty. The Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) has been implementing the pioneering Better Life Options Program (BLP) for adolescents in India through its partner organizations since 1989. The program uses an empowerment model that offers adolescent girls a combination of life skills: literacy and vocational training, support to enter and stay in formal school, family life education, and leadership training. A unique feature of the program is its holistic approach integrating education, livelihoods and reproductive health.

A cross-sectional comparative impact study was conducted to assess the impact of CEDPA’s Better Life Options Program on the decision making and reproductive health behavior of adolescent alumnae girls who graduated from the program in the peri-urban slums of Delhi (implemented by Prerana, Delhi), rural Madhya Pradesh (implemented by Bharatiya Grameen Mahila Sangh – BGMS) and rural Gujarat (implemented by Gujarat State Crime Prevention Trust – GSCPT). The study compared BLP alumnae who completed the program between 1996 and 1999 with a similar control group of young women (15-26 years old) who had not been exposed to the program. To reduce possible self-selection bias, two confounding variables were controlled: girls’ education and parents’ education/occupation.

Publisher: CEDPA
Download : 13177_file_blp_report.pdf

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