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Children walk to school in Kharay, Dolkha District, some 190 km (118 miles) northeast of Kathmandu September 15, 2013. Devi Budhathoki and three of her children, Manjura, Mandira, and Niraj all suffer from Congenital Hypertrichosis Lanuginosa, a very rare disease that causes excessive body hair growth, and which is sometimes referred to as "werewolf syndrome". They are undergoing laser hair removal in order to lessen their symptoms. Picture taken September 15, 2013. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar (NEPAL - Tags: HEALTH SOCIETY EDUCATION)

ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 07 OF 37 FOR PICTURE PACKAGE "LIVING WITH 'WEREWOLF SYNDROME'". TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH 'BUDHATHOKI' - RTX1522K
Education Plus Development

WATCH: Empowering adolescent girls in rural Nepal

In this video, Ganga Gautam, 2016 Echidna Global Scholar and professor of English at Tribhuvan University in Nepal, describes the state of girls’ education in rural Nepal. His research details the key barriers that adolescent girls face to staying in school. The research is centered on a girls’ empowerment program that he and a team of local leaders led in Nepal with 75 girls from across 15 schools. The program spanned five days and was designed to demystify taboo topics for adolescent girls, their parents, and their teachers, as well as to offer girls the opportunities to develop life skills such as leadership, time management, and problem solving.

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One year after the program, Ganga interviewed half of the original participants and found that all remained in school. Fifty percent reported better communication with their parents, 40 percent reported fewer chores, and the girls stopped three early marriages. While the program was limited in scope, Ganga finds sufficient evidence to justify expansion of the program, while addressing key gaps from the pilot program.

Read Ganga’s full report here. To learn more about the Echidna Global Scholars Program, please visit our webpage and series page.

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