When a girl is married before the age of 18, she and her family are more likely to be poor, uneducated, and unhealthy. In India, 47% of girls are married before the age of 18. Child brides face an end to their education, barriers to vocational and life skills, and increased risks of domestic violence and sexual diseases. Not only is child marriage illegal, it is a direct human rights violation, one that can be corrected through education.
Shadhika combats gender inequality and breaks the cycle of poverty in India by investing in women-led locally based non-governmental organizations working in India. Shadhika will provide full funding to young women to attend college so they can escape the threat of child marriage and have the opportunity to live an independent, self-sustaining life.
This project will give young women the opportunity to postpone marriage by focusing on their education, allowing them to break the cycle of poverty, earn an income, and provide for their future families. Thus, in the long run, we hope to challenge the rigid cultural norms that promote gender discrimination and child marriage in India.