This paper focuses on rural and indigenous girls and their mothers in Peru, examining how they position schooling and education in their current life and future aspirations, in order to better understand girls' increasing participation in education. It is argued here that the high educational aspirations girls and their families have are not only related to the desire to overcome poverty and marginalisation but also to oppressive gender relations. The widening of female roles available to young rural women is impacting on their identities and life projects. The paper shows that these processes are not purely individual but intertwined with intergenerational agreements, family projects, and shared understandings of the changes needed to improve the life of young women, revealing important transformations in rural and indigenous families. The paper analyses qualitative data from boys and girls in three settings and focuses in more detail on three in-depth case studies.