The three pillars

Adolescent girls and young women face discrimination because of the fact that they are female. This affects them in many facets of their lives. Maitrayana works at three levels to challenge the inequality that girls are facing: the girls and young women themselves, their families and community and other stakeholders.

The Three Pillars


Empowering adolescent girls and young women

One of the rights or freedoms that girls often lose when they become adolescents is their right to play sports. Girls become teenagers and feel often insecure about their bodies and capabilities. At the same time, their environment pushes them to focus on studies, to grow up, to stop playing, and to behave in a way that society expects of them: not being visible and not to be heard. Available sport activities are also not always designed in a way that enable girls to feel safe and comfortable.

Maitrayana uses sport to build girls’ perception, attitudes, skills and confidence. It provides safe spaces for girls to learn sports and life skills. It encourages them to play netball and to become leaders in their schools and communities. Through sport they acquire agency to make decisions about their own lives and influence and sometimes create changes in their family/community.

Maitrayana implements programmes with adolescent girls and young women that

  • Provide them with access to life skills-, sport- and leadership and employability training.
  • Build their assets (knowledge, skills, attitude, behaviour).
  • Build their confidence to use agency to access their rights, to take decisions and to influence others.


  • Inclusive and participant-centred sport for development activities with a deeper and longer-term investment (Young People’s Initiative Pragati/traditional programme and a variety of modalities, netball leagues and local/national tournaments)
  • Perspective & Skill building (goal setting and career guidance)
  • Leadership development (peer leaders and Community Sports Coaches pathways, netball clubs)
  • Economic Justice Program activities
  • Worker welfare programme (with factory workers in the garment sector)


Influencing families and communities

Maitrayana uses sport to influence families’ and communities’ perceptions and attitudes towards girls’ access to rights and prospects for their future. By allowing and supporting their daughters to participate and thrive in sport, families acknowledge their daughters’ positive development in terms of mobility, focus on their future, decision making and problem-solving skills which often allow the girls to make valuable contributions to decisions in their families. With sport, Maitranya builds an enabling environment in which dolescent girls’ and young women’s outcomes can advance and their contribution as young leaders can be appreciated.

Maitrayana implements programmes with adolescent girls and young women that

  • Build their understanding (knowledge, attitude) about the effects of gender inequality on the family/community and the advantages of gender equality for all.
  • Build an enabling environment in and with the community that will advance gender equality in which girls can contribute.


  • Engaging with stakeholders on girls and women’s rights at the community level (families and community meetings)
  • Girls/young women’s leadership in the community (action- and girls led advocacy projects)
  • Girls’ rights/safety committees


Ecosystem building with other stakeholders in society

The YPI realizes that forging collaborative partnerships is critical in working towards its vision. It therefore purposefully aims at influencing stakeholders such as community, religious and political leaders, Government Departments and Ministries, sports federations and NGOs to improve outcomes for girls regarding access to sport, female leadership and child safeguarding through advocacy, sharing best practices, networking, training and capacity building. The YPI works with NGO partners that work with adolescent girls and young women but lack the expertise of using sport as a tool and developing female leadership within their programmes. It liaises with businesses and companies to advocate the need for female leadership to achieve gender equal workplaces.

Maitrayana is committed to safeguarding children in sport. It focuses on empowering children as right holders and it advocates for their right to be safe. Maitrayana has launched the Collective for Safeguarding Children in Sport that brings together organisations in India that are using sports as a tool for development. Maitrayana CEO, Kalyani Subramanyam is a member of the Board of UNICEF Safeguarding Children in Sport Initiative.

Maitrayana implements programmes with adolescent girls and young women that

  • Build partnerships that will lead to measures/action that will address gender inequality.
  • Build informal thematic networks around sports and girls/women’s empowerment.
  • Build capacity of NGOs in sports & gender and in safe guarding young women.
  • Will position Maitrayana as influencer in formal local and national structures (with government, sports associations, and the development sector).


  • Advocacy
  • Development of and exercising thought leadership in the sector
  • Regranting & other model partnerships
  • To initiate and participate in national/global networking
  • To provide data and insights to partners/third parties

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