A 2015 UNFPA report notes that 67% of India’s 355 million girls and women of reproductive age experience various negative Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) outcomes such as poor menstrual hygiene, early and closely spaced pregnancy, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), and sexual violence. One in every five girls aged 15–19 in India experiences childbearing before age 17. A survey conducted in 2016 by Alan Guttmacher Institute in 18 states in India found that 60% of females aged 15–19-year had no say over their own marriage, education and health care. The issue of reproductive health rights of adolescents, under-age marriage, and adolescent pregnancy within and outside marriage remains a policy blind-spot in India. To address this, the Adolescence Education Programme, which integrates SRH education into the school curriculum, was adopted nationally, but as of 2017, seven states (Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) have refused or banned its implementation, citing cultural reasons. A study carried out by the Government of India in 2015-16 suggest that adolescent girls rank the lowest in terms of awareness about sexual health, family planning methods, and their rights. The India’s National Adolescent Health Program (NAHP), aimed at improving the access of youth to community health clinics and services has been found to have uneven implementation, limited awareness, inadequate training and sensitisation of health care providers, lack of utilisation by adolescents, poor quality and unavailability of supporting infrastructure. There is a huge need to combine life skill training with SRHR education to enable girls to access not only SRHR services but also to build their capacities to make life choices related to education, livelihoods and health.
CREA was established in 2000 in Delhi with a mission to advance women’s human rights, including reproductive rights, violence against women and sexuality. Through grassroots leadership development, technical assistance, and advocacy and research, CREA works to move the needle for women in the global south, with a focus on India. To ensure their training curricula and research results reach the largest audience, they publish materials in both English and Hindi, many geared toward low-literacy audiences. CREA’s ‘Count Me In – It’s My Body’ (IMB) initiative seeks to address violence and discrimination against females (including child marriage and sex-selection) through community level awareness-raising, door-to-door campaigns, art and performance. EMpower helped CREA spearhead its sports programming to build the health knowledge, skills and body confidence of girls, and to change perceptions about girls’ right to play and be in public spaces. CREA is known within India and internationally as a path-breaking organisation for advocating sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR). Their learnings from this grant will directly benefit their partners in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar, as well as in other geographies. Geetanjali Mishra is director of CREA and played a significant role in developing different tiers of leadership in the organisation. Since 2014 they adopted a ‘starfish’ model of internal organisational structure, building teams that can function both independently and in tandem with each other.
EMpower’s 6th grant to CREA will enable them to consolidate their learnings and standardize key program processes such as Monitoring and Evaluation, Curriculum, Fundraising and Communication to expand their program in Bihar and Jharkhand.
Primary Location: Delhi
Funded Since: 2012
Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.