33% of India’s youth aren’t in employment, education, or training. Most of them are women

According to the latest Multiple Indicator Survey (MIS) report of the Indian government’s National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), 15.4% of young men aged between 15 and 29 are not engaged in either education, employment or training (NEET), compared to 51.7% of young women. Economist and author Lekha Chakraborty, a professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, cited the prevalence of early marriage as one of the main drivers of this gender skew, and based her view on a 2013 study by co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Abhijit Banerjee and his colleagues, which highlighted how marriage is an economic decision for many women in India, one that their families often consider a wiser investment than education or training. Addressing these challenges requires a multi-pronged policy approach to change societal attitudes towards women's education and work, and to empower women to make their own choices about their education.

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