Planning Ahead for Girls’ Empowerment and Employability (PAGE)

Project Duration

2013 - 2016

Project Funder

MacArthur Foundation

Project Countries


Project issues/theme

Adolescents and Youth, Child Marriage, Economic Opportunity & Security

Lead Project Partners

Magic Bus India Foundation

ICRW Project Director

Dr. Priya Nanda


Available economic data suggest that India loses $56 billion USD a year in potential earnings because of adolescent pregnancy, high secondary school dropout rates, and joblessness among young women. Among girls who do work, a majority are either employed in home-based work or the informal sector.

Gender discriminatory social norms, early pregnancy (associated in India with early marriage), limited access to educational and training programs and lack of formal sector job opportunities are key factors that often confine young women’s employment options to the informal economy. The literature on India increasingly points towards strengthening and utilizing the economic potential of girls as a critical approach for economic development.  It also suggests that labor force participation of young women constitutes a critical pathway for poverty reduction. It is especially important to ensure that girls have the education, skills and resources needed to be self-sufficient, fully aspirational about their futures and contribute as equal members of society.

Currently, there are very few or no programs in India that instill relevant employment skills into existing education systems. To fill this gap, ICRW  in partnership with Magic Bus India Foundation  is currently undertaking an in-school  intervention  Planning Ahead for Girls’ Empowerment and Employability (PAGE)- with girls ages 15-17 from low-income communities to equip them with skills and opportunities for life and the labor market.

Over a two-year period, girls will go through a curriculum, built on two components: Empowerment and Employability. The Empowerment component will focus on building girls’ understanding of gender and power and will develop their self-efficacy skills. In Employability they will be given concrete pathways and avenues towards their employment. Ultimately, PAGE will build girls’ confidence, skills and capabilities to identify, plan and realize their future personal and professional goals.

PAGE is currently in the pilot phase in four girls’ government schools in East and South Delhi and is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.