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 India is poised at a critical juncture with a fast growing economy, rapid urbanization and an expanding youth population. India’s journey towards sustainable development cannot be ensured without the equal participation of its other demographic half- its women and girls, and without a strong commitment to gender equality, women’s empowerment.

UNFPA India works in close partnership with the Government, other UN agencies, and civil society networks to:

•       Eliminate Gender biased sex selection

By building capacities of law enforcers for effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act; supporting evidence based advocacy for policy initiatives; and building partnerships with civil society, media and research institutions for information exchange and coordinated action

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•       Empower young women and girls, and end Child Marriage

Through targeted interventions that equip young women and girls with life-skills, livelihood skills, supportive social networks and access to health and education services. We foster an enabling environment through rights-based, gender sensitive approaches to work with families, communities, local leaders and with men and boys as agents of change, abandoning discriminatory practices and ending violence against women and girls

•       Strengthen the health sector’s response to gender based violence

By enhancing the capacity of health systems to identify and manage cases of violence and facilitate inter-sectoral coordination to ensure women and girls are able to access health facilities as safe spaces in the event of violence


Key Milestones and Achievements

•       Technical support for effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act: Since 2012, UNFPA has collaborated with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to organize 3 national level capacity building trainings have been conducted for Appropriate Authorities and Nodal Officers covering all states and UTs

•       Support for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao implemenation: UNFPA is supporting the state Governments of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan for rolling out Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) with a focus on countering harmful practices such as gender biased sex selection and child marriage, and increasing the value of girls

•       Strengthening of civil society partnership- Girls Count: UNFPA supported the establishment of the national civil society coalition - ‘Girls Count’. The coalition has effectively amplified the advocacy on addressing declining child sex ratio, and enhancing the value of girls through a range of initiatives. 

•       Ending child marriage and empowering girls: In 2016, nearly 30,000 girls were reached through girls collectives and interventions to equip them with life-skills, livelihood skills and health information and services

•       Research and policy brief on incentive schemes for girls in collaboration with the International Institute of Population Sciences. The study and policy brief provided an evidence base for influencing the design of incentive schemes in other states.

•       State policies for women and girls: UNFPA worked closely with the state government of Rajasthan and Odisha to develop the Rajasthan state girl child policy and the Odisha state policy for girls and women

•       Work with media: UNFPA has supported sustained engagement with the media for promoting gender sensitivity. In this context, awards to recognize gender sensitivity in media and advertising- the Laadli Media Awards are now well-established