Mahila Samakhya – meaning education for women’s equality - was launched in 1989 by the Government of India in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka.
Today , Mahila Samakhya is active in 12,000 villages, over 60 districts in 9 states including Bihar, where UNICEF and Mahila Samakhya have been partners for a long time.
The guiding principle of the programme is the centrality of education in empowering women to achieve basic equality. It strives to make women aware, empowered, capable and self-reliant.
Mahila Samakhya has been particularly successful in targeting out-of-school girls by working with the community to create learning opportunities in alternative centres, residential camps and early childhood development centres.
The programme has been supported by State government, UNICEF, World Bank and others.