CSI conducts village level workshops for adolescent girls to train them on basic life skills like assertive communication, negotiation, problem solving and conflict resolution thus enabling girls to speak up, advocate for themselves, make better decisions and aspire to alternatives to early marriage. We also engage with gatekeepers like parents and community elders --through meetings, information campaigns, role plays etc.-as they are the key people who decide when and whom a girl marries.
47% of Indian girls are married before age 18 and 22% of them become mothers before turning 18. Child marriages lead to early childbearing, social isolation and high maternal/infants deaths. Child brides dropout of school and are exposed to domestic violence, abuse, increased economic dependence & denial of decision-making power which further perpetuates discrimination and low status of girls/women. Early marriage abruptly ends a girl's childhood, jeopardizes her health and future.
Project will educate and empower girls to improve their health and social status. The project will enhance girls' information, skills and support networks,engage with their parents & village elders to create an enabling environment for girls. The workshops will help adolescent girls to build up their communication and negotiation skills and give them confidence to speak up against social practice, negative health and social consequences of early marriage and learn about importance of education.
The program will empower and bring together girls/women to openly talk about child marriages, share experiences and advocate for their rights. Women will be better equipped to challenge and change the deep seated social problem. This would have ripple effect on the other issues like gender roles, maternal and child health status and status of women. The program will ensure behavior change in men/community, active support, strength from peers and resilience in girls to say "No" to early marriage.