Nepal

Supporting girls' education: Emerging baseline findings from an evaluation of 'Room to Read' in Nepal

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By Zara Khan, Emma Jackson, Cari Jo Clark, Irina Bergenfield, Mahesh Puri and Kathryn M. Yount

In Nepal, adolescent girls have less access to secondary schooling than do boys, face a variety of restrictions associated with menstruation, are highly vulnerable to child marriage, and have limited access to mobility and decision-making. Room to Read, a US-based charity, is working to address these disadvantages by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education in Nepal.

This executive summary summarises preliminary findings from the baseline survey of Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program evaluation, led by Emory University and Nepal’s Center for Research on Environmental Health and Population Activities (CREPHA) of the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) consortium. The Girls’ Education Program fosters adolescent girls’ educational success and broader development through regular girls’-only life-skills classes, careful monitoring of girls’ at-risk status, group mentoring for girls, educational sessions aimed at caregivers, community outreach, and need-based educational material support for the poorest girls. This evaluation aims to determine the short- and long-term impacts of the programme on adolescent girls’ capabilities, including school retention, progression and performance, life skills development, empowerment, voice and agency.