Type of Investment


Project Stage

Test & Transition

Length of Investment


Investment Overview

Breakthrough’s innovation Taaron ki Toli (TKT) is an evidence-based gender-equality curriculum for adolescent girls and boys (aged 11 to 14) in school that aims to change gender attitudes, aspirations, and behaviours of students to shift gender norms.


The Development Challenge

Gender gaps tend to favour men and are more pronounced in developing countries, where poverty and gender inequality create a two-way vicious cycle. India stands out for unequal opportunities and outcomes for women in early marriage, gender-based violence, and labour force participation. There is increasing recognition that there are limits to addressing these widespread structural inequalities without working to address the underlying beliefs which sustain them. As such, affirmative intervention at the right time, which can effectively change people’s attitudes towards gender, can play a powerful role in addressing gender inequality. Early adolescence is a period of identity formation when attitudes are malleable, and are therefore a promising point of entry for such programmes.


The Innovation

Breakthrough is a non-profit organisation that works to address gender inequality and violence against women in India. Its innovation is Taaron ki Toli (TKT), or Group of Stars, a school-based programme for adolescent girls and boys (aged 11 to 14) in grades six to eight, which aims to change gender attitudes, aspirations, and behaviours of students that sustain gender inequalities. The curriculum is designed to develop and enhance the psychological, interpersonal, and social skills of adolescents and uses games, songs, drawing and other activities to discuss topics such as gender stereotypes, gender roles at home, girls’ education, women’s employment outside the home, and harassment. A randomised controlled trial (RCT) conducted by J-PAL in Haryana found that TKT leads to significant improvements in gender attitudes for girls and boys, as well as positive changes in boys’ behaviour.


Our Investment

GIF’s grant of USD890,000 originally intended to support Breakthrough with scaling TKT across 4,500 government schools in Punjab and pilot a model for delivery in Odisha. Since, Breakthrough and J-PAL have secured interest from the Government of Odisha for a state-wide roll-out to 23,000 schools. With this, Breakthrough and J-PAL have effectively fast-tracked the pathway to scale for the gender equity curriculum in India which is estimated to reach 4 million students across both states. J-PAL will conduct a process evaluation to generate insights on the attitudinal changes for adolescents, and document learning on how such innovations can be most effectively delivered and scaled.


Progress to date

Breakthrough and J-PAL have secured tripartite Memoranda of Understanding with state governments in both in Punjab (GoP) and Odisha (GoO) for integration of the gender equality curriculum within the state education systems and roll out to all public schools. To date, the gender curriculum has been rolled out across all 6,250 public schools in Punjab, already reaching over 334K adolescents with evidence based content to shift gender attitudes and behaviours. GoP has already contributed co-funding and significant in kind resources towards this scale up. The gender curriculum is now embedded in the state’s teacher training model with government master trainers who in turn train teachers, and integrated in official curricula and textbooks for English, Wellcome Life and Social Studies. In Odisha, the curricula to be integrated with Social Studies have been developed and training of master trainers and teachers in progress with the curriculum roll out expected in 2024.


Breakthrough in numbers


GIF Grant


Girls and boys will be reached with gender equality curriculum