Rajasthan lies on the frontier, where matters of gender equality, resource usage, education, economic opportunity, and the magic of the human spirit converge on a daily basis.

When viewed from a global change leadership perspective, truly transformative change in cultures, ideas, philosophies, technologies and environments begins on the periphery - in protected spaces where the previously unimagined can take root. Here at the margins, inspirational and meaningful change can accelerate and expand. 

We are humbled to work with Rajasthani communities in this transformative process, and view our role as creating and protecting that inspirational space in which co-creation can take place. WomenServe has therefore focused its attention on this remote region precisely because of its receptivity, and its capacity to pave the way to audacious global change.

Gender  

Life in the desert is hard, especially for women and girls. In Rajasthan, women and girls must learn to navigate an environment of deeply entrenched gender roles and rigid social structure.

12-18
age of marriage for the majority of girls.

43
infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

30-50%
of the mortality rate of girls under five is due to gender bias.

Resources

Access to water is a major burden in the desert, where it only rains one month out of the year. Women and girls face this most strongly, as the responsibility of water collection falls on their shoulders.

67
years of drought in the Thar Desert over the last century.

5-10 
hours spent by women and girls collecting water daily.


average number of months with limited access to drinking water.

Economic Opportunity

To take control of her life, a woman must have the skills and opportunity to do so. In the harsh, rural desert, women and girls face many barriers which prevents her from earning an income and deciding her own future.

73%
of women are jobless.

65%
of rural women are illiterate.

13%
of landowners who are female.

Education 

For girls in Rajasthan, an education can be the difference between a life of freedom or being married before their 18th birthday. But for generations, girls haven’t had the privilege and access to go to school.

40% 
of girls who attend school drop out before 5th grade.

350,000 
girls are out of school.

1 in 100 
girls reach 12th grade.