The Aarohini Initiative

  • P Project/Program

A Active

Key Information

The Aarohini Intitiative is a girls’ empowerment and education program, initiated in 2011, that consists of training teachers who are working in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) in Uttar Pradesh, India. Conceived, experimented, conceptualized and formalized after 10 years of extensive work in Prerna Girls School, Aarohini is designed to enable teachers with the tools and mindset necessary to bring about change in their students’ lives. It aims to create a chain of positive influence with teachers as agents of change who in turn build the capacity of their students to recognize and challenge gender discrimination, and engage with parents to ensure that the rights of their students are protected. The program holds at its core the use of critical feminist pedagogy and community mobilization. Critical feminist pedagogy is based on the ideology that girls and women must learn to critically examine the social and political conditions of their lies and the systemic of their oppression, then collectively find ways to strengthen themselves, resist oppressive societal norms, and transform their lives. Aarohini uses this pedagogy to first enable the teachers, most of whom are women, to critically examine and understand how gender constructs and impacts women and girls’ lives in India, including their own. Additionally, Aarohini believes that to create lasting change, the process of empowerment must be accompanied by a change in the girls' environment. Community mobilization hinges on expanding the teachers' role and preparing them for collective action. Thus, Aarohini is not simply a girls’ education and empowerment program, but an ecosystem that works to eliminate discrimination faced by adolescent girls. It operates on the premise that through self awareness, a supportive and empathetic environment, and a culture of dialogue, girls can achieve positive life outcomes.

Lead Implementing Organization(s)


South Asia


Government Affiliation

Non-governmental program


2011 -


Ministry Affiliation



Not applicable or unknown

COVID-19 Response


Areas of Work Back to Top

Education areas


  • Primary completion
  • Secondary completion

Other skills

  • Rights/empowerment education


  • Curricula/lesson plans
  • Teacher training

Cross-cutting areas

  • Community sensitization
  • Empowerment
  • Gender equality
  • Mentorship
  • Social and gender norms and beliefs

Program participants

Target Audience(s)

Girls (both in school and out of school), Teachers - female, Teachers - male


Not applicable or unknown

School Enrolment Status

Some in school

School Level

Not applicable or unknown

Other populations reached

  • Fathers
  • Mothers
  • Other community members - female
  • Other community members - male

Participants include

Not applicable or unknown

Program Approaches Back to Top

Community engagement/advocacy/sensitization

  • Community mobilization


  • Gender-sensitive curricula

Social/gender norms change

  • Engaging parents/caregivers of students or school-age children/adolescents
  • Group activities with students or school-age children/adolescents


  • In-service teacher training – gender-responsive pedagogy
  • Pre-service teacher training – gender-responsive pedagogy

Women's empowerment programs

  • Advocacy/action
  • Empowerment training

Program Goals Back to Top

Education goals

  • Improved academic skills (literacy and numeracy)
  • Increased school completion (general)
  • Increased school enrolment (general)

Cross-cutting goals

  • Improved critical consciousness
  • Increased advocacy/civic engagement
  • Increased agency and empowerment
  • Increased knowledge of rights
  • More equitable gender attitudes and norms