Press release - 8 March, International Women's Rights Day: Girls and women in India break codes with Action Education

1 March 2023

Photo credits: Omar Havana

Paris, 15 February 2023. - Action Education (formerly Aide et Action), an international association for development through education, accompanies all girls and women, whatever their birth conditions, so that they can trace their own path, other than the one imposed by family, society, religion and gender. In its 19 countries of operation, the association bases its action on educational innovation. In India, for example, Action Education uses NICTs to enable women to make their own way towards emancipation.


Ensuring access to quality education for all girls has been Action Education's priority for over 40 years. However, in order to achieve this right, it is imperative to remove the many obstacles that still prevent more than 130 million girls from access to education. 

Under the Girls Who Code initiative, the daughters of domestic workers in Pune (near Mumbai, western India) are being trained in computer coding. "This training helps them not only to improve their creative, logical and problem-solving skills, but also their academic skills.says Madhu Pandey, programme manager in India.

Every Saturday evening, a group of girls meet at the childcare centre run by Action Education in Pune to diligently learn computer coding. The girls, aged between 10 and 14, are all from poor domestic worker families. The girls did not know what coding was when they started their coding learning journey in September 2021.

Coding classes complement what is taught in school and help girls improve their communication and analytical skills. There is a significant improvement in the academic skills of these girls. The courses focus on problem solving and analytical skills, which are essential for study and daily activities.

Every other night, these girls go to the child support centres where they receive special classes to improve their academic skills. In addition to encouraging these girls to develop innovations and critical skills, including creativity and empathy, the coding classes give them the opportunity to see the world differently and to unlock their potential.

To achieve effective results, Action Education (formerly Aide et Action) has adopted an original method: the association involves local and religious authorities, who are very influential in changing lifestyles and traditions. By involving the whole community in its programmes, Action Education is able to increase the number of girls in school and change mentalities. 

Vanessa Martin, Action Education's Advocacy Officer, insists: "In the extremely precarious contexts where Action Education intervenes, the poorest families give priority to the well-being and development of boys. Young girls are the first victims of economic, political, security and climatic crises. In these contexts, they are 2.5 times more likely to drop out of school than boys. Many will be married at a very young age. This is why Action Education is working to ensure that all of girls' human rights are a priority in its programmes.

This educational innovation in India is in line with Action Education's stated desire to give girls access to a wider range of training and non-gendered professions. In fact, they are still too often excluded from technical professions, particularly those related to information technology and computing. In each of its countries of intervention as in India, Action Education aims, through its educational innovations, to fight against stereotypes and social representations that prevent women from expressing their full potential.

About Action Education (formerly Aide et Action)

For 40 years, Action Education (formerly Aide et Action), an international association for development through education, has been ensuring access to quality education for the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, particularly children, girls and women, so that they can all control their own development and contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable world. 

We promote lifelong learning because access to quality education helps fight poverty and disease, mitigate climate change and build peace in a sustainable world. Based on the values of dignity, inclusion and integrity, as well as on the principles of transparency, accountability and solidarity, and thanks to the support of our 51,000 donors, we are currently running 91 projects in Africa, Asia, Europe - and especially in France - for nearly 1.5 million children, youth and adults. 

Action Education press contact: Anne Cassiot - 01 55 25 70 13

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