Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment: The Conduit for Nation Building
India is home to almost 20 percent of the world's children with more than one third are (440 million) below 18 years. The growing proportion of young India is on the steady rise calling attention for investment into their overall development. The World Health Organisation defines adolescence as the period of life between the ages of 10-to 19 years. The Adolescents (10-19 years) in India account for 232 million comprising 22.8% of the total population (UN, 2010). The adolescent girls comprise close to half the number (116 million) amounting to almost 20% of the world’s adolescent girl population. The proportion of adolescent population is at an all time high in the demographic history of India (UN, 2012).
The researcher undertook a study to throw light on the importance of empowering adolescent girls for Nation Building. Qualitative analysis using a semi-structured interview tool was adopted for this study and data was collected from professional Social Workers working with adolescents in Chennai city. Using content analysis, specific themes were identified for understanding the situation and diverse needs of adolescent girls, the existing nature of interventions available and the need for investing in empowerment based approaches to strengthen adolescent girls for future Nation-Building.
The data highlights adolescence as a crucial period for growing individuals requiring keen attention. Right kind of investments aimed at holistic empowerment of adolescent girls would assist improvements in all developmental indicators and pave way to reap benefits for future generations.
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