Girls Advocacy Alliance
A gradual change is being witnessed in ensuring equal rights and opportunities for girls in the states of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana state (TS). Governments of AP and TS have taken official cognisance of the burgeoning child rights problem. Work has begun to amend and plug the loopholes in the law that allows child marriages. Religious leaders are spearheading awareness drives about the economic, health and legal repercussions of child marriages within their communities. Village-level Child Protection Committees (CPCs) are being formed and strengthened based on the guidelines created by Plan India in collaboration with the state governments. A strategy paper examining corporate social responsibility spending beyond primary education of girls and identifying the lacunae in support for secondary and higher education which accounts for the highest dropout rates, has been published. All these initiatives are a part of Plan India’s biggest global advocacy programme, Girls’ Advocacy Alliance (GAA). GAA is an initiative of Plan International–Plan Netherlands, Terre des Hommes– Netherlands and Defence for Children–ECPAT Netherlands and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The project’s goal is to create an environment where girls can build a life of self-reliance, dignity and financial independence. GAA focuses on systemic and attitudinal changes to stop child marriages and child trafficking by promoting secondary education for girls and job oriented vocational training (JOVT) for young women.
Plan India’s innovative strategies for changing social norms, networking, influencing, and gathering evidence are beginning to bear fruit. Youth advocates of GAA are actively raising their voices to demand their rights. Work is in progress with the private sector to promote focused spending and establishing infrastructure to create opportunities for continued secondary education and JOVT for young women. Plan is successfully breaking siloes and creating synergies between the judiciary and the government departments of state legal services, education, and women and child welfare to protect girls’ rights. The project also sensitises other CSOs to incorporate the GAA themes into their core operations and advocacy.
- 26,08,393 potential people reached through policy-level changes on Girls Advocacy Alliance focus themes of child marriages, child trafficking, and secondary education.
- 194,13,478 potential girls reached through policy-level changes on Girls Advocacy Alliance focus themes of child marriages, child trafficking, and secondary education.
- 334 religious leaders engaged in ending child marriages.
- Collaboration with 108 Civil Society Organizations for influencing and advocacy actions on gender-based violence and girls education.
- 394 youth advocates empowered to raise voice against gender-based violence and girls education.
- Together with the state government 49,70,198 girls and 36,17,533 boys reached out with messaging on combating child marriages and trafficking as well as on the importance of secondary education and skilling.