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Families, communities and village governments are often the key decision-makers regarding girls’ lives. They can also be the most difficult to persuade in terms of delaying girls’ marriages. Their support can ensure that changes initiated by Samata are sustained well after the end of the programme.
At the heart of the Samata intervention is the development of a cadre of adolescent girl leaders who will sustain changes in favour of girls’ education and gender equality in their villages. The programme mentors girls to become confident and vocal young feminists, active in their communities and schools. Samata aims to equip them with the knowledge and skills to effectively negotiate a space that is hostile to women. Overall, the Samata programme has reached 3,600 girls across 69 villages in 2 districts of Bagalkot and Bijapur in northern Karnataka.