All posts tagged: education

Equality Must Start Early

Blog post written by Lisa Öhman, intern at the Girl Child Platform Many of us would agree that gender equality must begin in early ages, but why is this so important? The Swedish School Inspection has now presented a report of their review of preschools’ work with equality. The purpose of this review was to see if girls and boys are given the same opportunities to try and develop abilities and interests without being limited by stereotypical gender roles. Research and investigations have previously shown that if there is a lack of a conscious equality work then stereotypical gender roles can be strengthened instead of being made visible and questioned. The conclusion of the review was that the Preschool policy on gender equality is not clear or defined, and can thus not be used effectively. It is imperative that equality is worked with consciously in preschools through a girl perspective – by which we mean that girls have limited possibilities to live a life free from discrimination and the conviction that this must change – because …

Left Behind: Education Equity as Key to Poverty Alleviation

Written by: Rose Frullani-Bacon Poverty is far from a 21st century issue. People around the world have been struggling to make ends meet for centuries. All the while, leaders, governments, faith groups, non-profits and other organizations have been tackling poverty head on. Today, many argue that education is the closest thing that exists to a silver bullet for breaking the cycle of poverty. Not only can a formal education provide people with the tools they need to attain financial stability, it can also empower those who break out of poverty to “pay it forward” and give back to their communities by becoming teachers, advocates and leaders. Though many non-profits and foundations have made it their mission to ensure that people in developing countries have access to quality education, there still remains an incredible and unacceptable gender gap in opportunities to go to school and ability to stay in school. Globally, a third of countries have more boys enrolled in primary school than girls. In some parts of the world, gender equity gaps in education are vast. …

10-Year-Old Girls are the Future of the World

According to the latest State of World Population by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), girls at the decisive age of 10 are the future of the world. At this age, girls are moving away from the world of childhood towards the world of adolescence and adulthood. In this season of life, it’s essential that girls be presented with opportunities, encouraged to dream big, given tools to pursue those dreams, and have access to education and health care. For many girls around the world, this phase of life is when they begin to face the reality of limited choices in life compared to boys and when they become more vulnerable to discrimination and gender violence. This reality needs to be changed, not only for the good of these girls, but also for the good of their societies and the world as a whole. Here are 4 reasons why investing in 10-year-old girls is good for the world: 1) Access to education is not only a human right, but it’s essential to helping girls achieve their full potential. …

A Smart Thing To Do: Data on Women in Higher Education & STEM

“When we talk about improving women’s lives, education is an issue that comes up over and over again as an equalizer, because when women and girls have access to an education, they can accomplish anything.” – United State of Women But do all forms of education create equity where gender disparities are greatest? Although we need to work toward improving women’s and girls’ access to education on all levels, real disparities deepen in secondary and higher education environments around the world. Significant progress has been made as 2/3 of developing nations have achieved gender parity when it comes to access to primary education. Despite significant progress made on girls’ school enrollment in the past decade, 32 million girls of lower secondary school age were out of school in developing countries. The situation is worst for the poorest rural girls in South and West Asia: only 13% complete lower secondary school. If we agree with UNICEF that educating girls is “both an intrinsic right and a critical lever to reaching other development objectives,” then advocating for a higher output …

“There Are Millions of Girls Like Me, and We’re Not In School”

An African proverb says if you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation. In fact, studies have shown that when an investment is made in the education of girls, not only does it benefit the economy of the country but that education results in women having healthier families and with a much higher likelihood of them prioritizing the education of their children. Women who are given educations have been shown to also improve their communities and to educate the women around them increasing the benefits of that initial investment substantially. Last month UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, released a report showing that after 4 years of the conflict 3.7 of the 6 million school-aged children under their mandate have no school to go to. This means in addition to all the barriers that exist for young girls such as trauma, family obligations, language, and child marriage that exist in the refugee camp,s many will not even have the option to go to school. The report also found that …

Braver, Stronger and Smarter – Sustainable Development Goal 10

“You think we can make it?” “We have 10 minutes and we are 6 blocks away.”  “I think we have to run.” “Let’s do it!” And so two women ran the streets of New York (with tiny heels on) just to make it to the United Nations during the its 71st General Assembly.  Some things are too precious to walk towards, you just have to run even in your heels. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 10 isn’t quite focused on running in heels, but it is focused on inequalities. And women and girls face a multitude of inequalities especially within the refugee population. In spite of their perilous situations, these girls have a thirst for education and eagerly run towards it. Women and girls need a myriad of things from love and support to opportunities and mentors. We need access to resources, quality education and initiatives that foster and highlight leaders within the family unit, the community, and society as a whole. Most importantly we need education – and by education I mean good education. …

Sisterhood Unfulfilled: How all the Eggs Ended up in Her Basket

This is the second blog post of a three part series: Written by Abby Tseggai It was a beautiful summer morning as Fana and her older brother, Kifle, skipped to their neighboring town, happy, emitting a love that siblings who suffered together feel. It was now two years since the stillbirth of the little sister Fana wanted so badly. On a brighter side, it was two years that solidified an unbreakable bond between Fana and her big brother. They were getting ready for another big change –Kifle would soon be moving to America to complete his senior year of high school with the hope of attending college there too. Fana and Kifle did not have any immediate blood-cousins, and since Kifle was the only living boy, their parents put all their eggs in his basket, to use a popular expression. They expected him to nurture their family name and legacy, and therefore encouraged his quest to attain a better education, far away from their homeland, Eritrea. It was always Kifle’s responsibility to pick up fresh …

Letter to A Young Girl

This letter is written by a young woman to her earlier self whose career is about to take a huge transformation. In this letter, she reflects on which characteristics and attitudes she wishes to retain and what she hopes to accomplish as she progresses forward to achieving her medical dreams. She also hopes that it will inspire other girls to go confidently as they pursue their scientific careers. Dear Me, I hope you’re well. I cannot tell you what you will encounter in the next four years, the people who will change your life, the experiences that will leave an ingrained memory in your brain. A lot of questions flood my mind as I think about the journey you will go through: Do you still keep your sense of poetry? Your creative writing? Does the idea of taking care of another human being terrify you? Do you still give humorous lectures of how things work in the molecular world? Do you still only eat fish and vegetables just to keep your mental faculties sane? (Please do relax sometimes! And …

How to Find Your Brave Space

1. Claim your seat at the table As I approached the Gender 360 Summit, I was momentarily overwhelmed and intimidated by the buzzing room full of intellectuals. The room was filled to capacity with tables of women and men chatting, debating and discussing their views about adolescent girls around the world. Then, I remembered all of the skills and lessons I learned while organizing leadership conferences for women. I thought about the times I quietly sat in the back of the room soaking in the incredible knowledge from the faculty and speakers. I channeled the eloquence of my first African American female supervisor and thought about the countless occasions she pushed me out of my comfort zone towards my full potential. I thought of my mother and the pure tenacity that engulfed her being. Then, I boldly entered the room and took a seat at the table. 2. Recognize education is the key and mentors, skills and self confidence open the door The women at the summit were simply fascinating. I had conversations with individuals …

Investing in Gender Parity

The World Economic Forum predicts that global gender parity won’t be achieved until 2133.  None of us fighting for it today will be around then to see what it looks like.  Yet, each of us needs to take action now to ensure our children and grandchildren experience it. Educational Empowerment (EE) generates gender parity through microfinance in a village outside Bago in Myanmar.  Here, in the dirt covered streets, microfinance creates opportunities for women living in poverty to start small businesses.  Women earn household income, and attain increased decision-making power, self-confidence, and community influence. Ma Thet and Lei Lei Win spend many hours together every day sitting on one of their porches rolling cigars.  They love to laugh and reminisce about when they were young and growing up in their village.  Ma Thet, a widow with five children, took a loan for $70 to help her continue her small cigar business.  While this may not seem like much to us, it is enough to allow her to run her cottage industry by herself, which then …