The WEP Student
The WEP student is one who, against the odds, has completed the 10th grade, and dreams of college and a career. She knows that higher education leads to formal sector employment and a higher standard of living for herself and her family (each additional school year increases a woman’s earnings by 10 – 20%). Many WEP alumnae have doubled their family income.
Our Students’ Challenges
India contains 1/3 of the world’s female poor. 88% of female children attend primary school, 57.3% drop out by the 10th grade. 40% marry before they are 18. For those who work, it is low paying, irregular, and often unsafe employment. For the majority, they find themselves married and trapped within their homes. For those whose families are poor, the percentages are far higher.
Without education, women are left out of the discussion of the very problems that affect them most deeply and for which, they might someday provide solutions. They have no voice.
WEP parents, mostly uneducated themselves, (despite some support and disposition to challenge cultural norms (by educating their female child), cannot fund tuition, books, or transportation higher education requires.
Add to this, domestic violence, congested homes, horrible sanitation, illness, malnutrition, (55.3% of Indian women are anemic (16% severely so)) debt, and domestic responsibilities, there is much for the WEP program to address.