80% of over 23K adolescent girls claim lack of dignity: Survey

New Delhi: Nearly 80 per cent of 23,801 adolescent girls from 13 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, claim that they suffer from lack of privacy and dignity at home as well as relief camps after a disaster, according to a sample survey .

According to ‘State of the Girl Child in India Report 2015 – The state of the girls: what next?’, compiled by NGO ‘Plan India’, 45-58 per cent of 32,311 adolescents — 23,801 girls and 8510 boys — feared of being married off early.

The report highlights that gender bias in terms of access to food was reported by about one-third adolescent girls while 60 per cent of the respondents complained of being unable to attend schools post a disaster. Twenty-five per cent girls also feared being sold or trafficked after a disaster.

They also claimed lack of sanitation facilities with only 17 per cent boys or girls having access to functional toilets.

As far as education and gaining skills were concerned, poverty, household chores, seasonal disturbances, child labour and preference to educate a son were found to be the factors which were keeping girls out of school.

More than 95 per cent adolescent girls of the sample size claimed to be engaged in domestic work.

54 per cent girls in the poorest households and 16 per cent girls in the richest households were found to be child brides, the survey claimed.

Underlining the key findings of the report, Plan India’s executive director Bhagyashri Dengle said even though there has been improvement in the status of girl child, a lot more needs to be done because a majority of girls in India still experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination.

Arti Kirloskar, Chair, Plan India Governing Board, said that communities and countries should ensure that their girls and women are safe and secure.

“The call for commitment is from all stakeholders at various levels who are in a position to encourage gender equality in the spirit as articulated in the SDGs.

“Corporates are a very significant player in this context. Gender transformative work cultures and CSR programmes and policies will have a dual impact: one on their own efficiencies and work environment and second on the value for investments made in community development programs,” Kirloskar said.

The other states which were covered during the study were West Bengal, Odisha, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttarakhand.