Hey, we are Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF Representative in India, and Chhavi Rajawat, the first woman Sarpanch -head of village- in India with an MBA degree. Ask Us Anything!
On the eve of International Women’s Day, we are pleased to interact with the Reddit community to exchange views and answer questions about adolescent girls’ empowerment in India and the role of women and girls in public life.
Find below some information about ourselves, our work and the situation of adolescent girls in India. We look forward to hearing from you! Ask us Anything! We will begin answering them at 8:30 AM EST (7 pm) for approximately an hour.
India is home to more than 243 million adolescents, who account for a quarter of the country’s population. Over the past two decades, rapid economic growth has lifted millions out of poverty. This, combined with government programmes, has led to the improved health and development of the country’s adolescents. However, millions of adolescent girls still face difficult obstacle in their lives, experiencing various forms of discrimination, exploitation and abuse on account of their age and their sex. The double burden of being female and young relegates millions of adolescent girls to the margins of society where, unseen and unheard, they enjoy low status and their rights are disregarded.
UNICEF is committed to creating an overall protective environment for adolescent girls that addresses diverse issues during their lifecycle. Nurturing and empowerment of marginalized girls during early, middle and late adolescence can benefit them—and potentially alleviate their isolation and disempowerment—as they move into young adulthood. UNICEF believes that giving all young people the tools they need to improve their own lives will foster a generation of economically-independent citizens who are fully engaged in civic life and able to actively contribute to their communities.
Chhavi Rajawat is the sarpanch of Soda village, 60 km from Jaipur, in Rajasthan, and the changing face of growing dynamic rural India. Apart from sorting out various disputes among the farmers and villagers, she is also taking note of the unemployment issues and kind of facilities provided to the villagers of Soda. Chhavi has promoted water conservation and solar power projects, as well as construction of drains.
Date: 7 March
Start time: 8:30 am EST (7pm IST).
UPDATE: We are about to wrap up. Thanks a lot for your questions. It has been a great experience for both of us. Looking forward to the next AMA!!
UPDATE: 1.30 hr of great conversation!! Thanks for having participated!