Cartier Philanthropy - Getting Indian girls into classrooms

Getting Indian girls into classrooms


Implementation of Educate Girls’ comprehensive model to help reduce the education gender gap in India has snowballed over the past 12 years, proving that it can effectively increase girls’ enrolment and attendance in schools, promote girl-friendly education infrastructures and improve learning outcomes for children. We have supported Educate Girls since 2014 and are now providing the organisation with core funding to scale up its operations across 35,000 of the most educationally backward villages across four Indian states, enrolling up to 1.5 million of the country’s out-of-school-girls by 2024.

Focus area
Access to Basic Services
Educate Girls


Nearly 190 million women in India cannot read and write a simple sentence in any language. The literacy gap between men and women is one of the worst in the world, with the women’s literacy rate at 65% and the men’s at 83%. The reasons behind this gender gap are manifold, ranging from deeply-entrenched sociocultural norms to economic factors and lack of family support.
Exacerbating the issue of access to education is the suboptimal quality of the education provided in government primary schools.


Deploying an effective combination of community mobilization strategies and advanced analytics, Educate Girls’ unique approach addresses the many barriers that prevent Indian girls from entering the classroom in the first place.

Targeting villages with higher concentrations of out-of-school-girls – identified using predictive machine learning techniques – Educate Girls builds awareness of the opportunities that come from girls’ education and the roles that parents and communities can and should play in the improvement of school infrastructures and governance.

Working in partnership with the Government and state schools, the organisation has successfully ensured the enrolment of over 800,000 out-of-school girls to date and improved the learning outcomes of 1.3 million children.


We’ve been supporting Educate Girls in Rajasthan state since 2014 as it expanded and finetuned its model so that no girl is left behind. After a first grant that successfully enrolled over 37,500 girls in Rajsamand district, achieving a retention rate of 93.5%., and a second grant that enrolled further 16,800 girls in the same district over the past three years, achieving an outstanding 97% retention rate, we’re now providing core funding to scale up operations across 35,000 villages in India’s four most populous states: Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Educate Girls aims to have achieved the following results by 2024:

  • 1.5 million out-of-school girls are enrolled in grades 1 through to 10
  • More than 90% of all enrolled girls stay in school without dropping out in grades 3 to 10
  • Over 70,000 adolescent girls are empowered with essential life skills such as communication, leadership, public speaking and problem-solving
  • School governance and infrastructures are improved in over 40,000 schools serving more than 15.1 million boys and girls
  • 900,000 girls and boys improve their learning outcomes, especially in Hindi, English and Maths


Educate Girls has been bridging the gender and literacy gap in remote rural villages across India since 2007, consistently raising the scale of its ambition and the economics of its intervention. Backed by a proven, replicable and codified model of intervention, activities are progressively and effectively handed over to the communities, thereby ensuring local “ownership” and sustainability.