A case study of Marshall Ganz's organizing model being implemented to support girls to access education in India.
Girls in Rajasthan face several barriers in accessing education that range from physical (distance to schools), infrastructure, discriminative social norms, and a lack of incentive for families to send girls to schools beyond a certain age. Covid-19 has worsened the situation with school closures and several girls engaged in household chores. It becomes more challenging for girls who are at the intersections of caste, class, and poverty. Data shows that gender differentials in access to education are stark at secondary and senior secondary levels. Caste-based differentials are also observed with higher dropouts among girls from Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities. IPE Global, in collaboration with AMIED, NGO based in Rajasthan, piloted a leadership model to bridge the gap in access to education for girls from SC and ST communities. This was based on the pedagogy of Leadership, Organising and Action (LOA) developed by Dr Marshall Ganz. A snowflake leadership structure was built and led by girls from these communities. The paper studies the role of this leadership model in supporting girls from marginalized communities in accessing education and bridging inequalities and explores the potential for scaling it up across the State of Rajasthan and other States. Paper has used qualitative surveys with a cohort of girls, and other relevant stakeholders. Preliminary results indicate the success of LOA pedagogy in promoting equitable access. Girls’ leadership collective commenced with 10 girls, is now an alliance of more than 1200 girls within three months. The girl leaders have become a social and political force in their district of Rajasthan, with enhanced agency and voice.
This paper was presented at the World Conference for Women Studies in 2021.