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Increasing household chores and early marriage are preventing girls in rural India from staying in school, according to study by Educate Girls

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Increasing household chores and early marriage are preventing girls in rural India from staying in school, according to study by Educate Girls

MUMBAI, India, Oct. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Educate Girls conducted a comprehensive study with mothers, girls and boys from 900+ households across villages of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in India, to understand how the pandemic impacted the education of girls aged 5-18.

In November and December 2021, Educate Girls, an Indian non-profit working towards girls’ education in rural India, conducted a comprehensive study to estimate the impact of the pandemic on girls aged 5-18 in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. This study was conducted with the support from Dalberg International Advisors, by surveying mothers and over 3,200 girls and boys from 900+ households.

Educate Girls wanted to understand the changes brought about by the pandemic in the lives of such vulnerable girls in India and how it may have affected their chances to return to school.

Biggest roadblocks preventing girls from resuming or staying in school

  • Increased financial distress and school attendance

In villages where schools had opened, about 94% girls and 96% boys said they are attending school. However, the proportion of adolescent girls not attending school (23%) was nearly double that of adolescent boys not attending school.

  • Increased burden of household chores

For all girls, the number of hours spent on household chores has increased by more than 1 hour a day to an average of over 3.5 hours per day. Most of this increase is in chores that need to be done in the morning before they go to school.

  • Burden of early marriage

In Uttar Pradesh, roughly 30% of participating girls were either married or engaged. Many girls mentioned aggravated poverty during lockdown, coupled with other circumstances, have left them at risk of early marriage.


“The findings of the study are clear – the barriers to girls’ education are greater than ever before and we need to fight greater odds to ensure these girls go to school, don’t drop out, and continue learning. The impact is most acute for adolescent girls. The study also highlights the stories of girls and the long-term effect the pandemic has left on their lives,” says Safeena Husain, Founder and Board Director, Educate Girls.

The findings of this study have been compiled in a report titled ‘Impact of Covid-19 in rural India and its effect on girls’. It outlines the opportunities that lay ahead, which involves teachers and peers keeping adolescent girls connected to learning and bringing them back to school.

About Educate Girls

Educate Girls is a non-profit that focuses on mobilising communities for girls’ education in India’s rural and educationally backward areas. Working in partnership with the Government, Educate Girls currently operates successfully in over 20,000 villages of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and has brought 1.1 million+ girls back to school till date. By engaging with a huge base of community volunteers, Educate Girls helps to identify, enrol, and retain out-of-school girls and to improve foundational skills in literacy and numeracy for all children (both girls and boys).


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