130 million girls in South Asia will be married as children by 2030.1

READ Centers offer women and girls a safe space to gather, learn, and advocate. Often, women in South Asia must ask permission from their husbands to leave home for reasons other than child care or farm work. But because libraries are viewed as safe, neutral places, women can go to READ Centers independently to access literacy, livelihood skills, and technology training, as well as specialized educational resources. This helps women build their confidence and decision-making power:

  • Leadership development: Trainings in confidence building and civic participation equip women with skills to become leaders in their families and communities.
  • Women’s and family health: READ Centers provide specialized health information and workshops for women, including family planning and sexual and reproductive health.
  • Gender sensitization: Training and focus group discussions on gender norms and women’s legal rights are offered for both men and women.
  • Women’s groups: Self-help groups, savings cooperatives, and reading groups give women the chance to meet, discuss, and learn new skills. All READ Centers have women’s sub-committees to help manage programs and resources.

Our impact at a glance: Women’s decision-making power in healthcare, family planning, and children’s education has increased for 68% of women surveyed in India, and 62% in Nepal. Learn more about our impact data here.

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[1]130 million girls in South Asia will be married as children by the age of 18, if present trends continue. – UNFPA

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