The role of girls and women in Indian society is complex.

They are a daughters, wifes, homemakers and mothers, all at the same time. With the rapid economic developement in India this role is also changing and thus becomes complicated in an ever growing modern subcontinent. Traditionally parents still want their girls to stay at home until they get married. Simply being a woman can lead to discrimination. In some cases they are not allowed to go to school, go to work or leave the house. Being born in a lower cast could also be a ground for unfair treatement.


The Bernadette van Gelder Foundation firmly believes that empowerment starts with knowledge. A good and solid education is a means to breaking the vicious circle of poverty and allowing girls and women to have a role in Indian society. It is therefor that the focus of the Foundation will be on education.


Education is the crux

The impact of education on girls is extraordinary. Education sustains human values. It forms the foundation for learning and critical thinking. Education also provides skills for girls to become more self-reliant and provides them with more opportunities. Thinking into the future, education also provides them with the knowledge to manage health problems. Having the knowledge beforehand is crucial to saving and protecting lives ( - report on girl’s education in India, March 2012).