Mumbai, India

Empowering Girls Against Harm

A girl that is married before the age of 18 is twice as likely to be beaten or threatened by her husband than if she marries as an adult.

It is not uncommon for girls living in India’s rural slums to suffer from early marriage, neglect and sexual violence, as well as routine harassment. Girls are also at risk of being trafficked under the guise of marriage.

GMSP is proud to support Aangan’s Shakti Programme that aims to build communities that are safe for girls in locations where some of the poorest and most marginalised people live. Through Shakti, adolescent girls become alert to risk, learn about laws and their rights, and are encouraged to articulate their aspirations and negotiate for their entitlements.

GMSP currently funds a Shakti programme across two urban slums in Mumbai.  We fund community volunteers to run girl safety networks and to deliver an empowerment and resilience-building curriculum that enables girls to identify risk and develop safety plans.  It funds the volunteers to identify and mentor girls that are at risk of, or suffer from, abuse; and link them to child protection officials and community adults.

As a result of GMSP’s support, 480 girls will be more aware of risks, their rights, and will have identified mechanisms to protect themselves as well as opportunities to build their independence.