All posts tagged: girls’ education

The Importance of Educating Girls

Blog post by Lisa Öhman, intern at Flickaplattformen This text is based on my final thesis for my bachelor in Development Studies. My thesis is a discourse analysis of texts collected from governmental development agencies, analysing their call on the importance of girls’ education. During the past decades, gender and education have become central elements in debates about development aid. Today, almost all international development organizations have included a gender perspective in their work. The reason why education for girls and gender equality have become such central parts of development aid can be traced to the many direct effects it has on economic growth and human welfare. It is often argued in development discourses that educating girls and women is an investment that is worthwhile. This view of girls’ education as a tool for development is often described as instrumentalism. This instrumentalist view on girls’ education has received criticism. The central argument against it is that girls’ education is only seen as being of importance due to its effect on development. I argue that the instrumental theory is …

Shattering the Norm and Creating a New Future for Adolescent Girls

Written by Marcela Lopez-Macedonio, President & CEO of The Resource Foundation “As a girl, all I knew was housekeeping. I was the only girl at home and I had to wash all my brothers’ clothes. In school, I wasn’t allowed to participate in all the activities because I was a girl,” explains Belkis, a 39-year-old mother in Corbano Sur, Dominican Republic. Belkis shared her story during a parents’ meeting held as part of the Girls’ Education and Empowerment Regional Program, an initiative co-created by The Resource Foundation (TRF) and Johnson & Johnson in 2016.  Her story is not unlike those of many other women across Latin America. The choice to go to school, to start a family, to work – these were not decisions Belkis made for herself, but rather the products of generations of customs, traditions, and circumstances surrounding the roles and rights of women and girls. While significant strides have been made in Latin America, the challenges that Belkis faced as a girl and adolescent persist. Forced marriage, early pregnancy, and violence are …

Encouraging Girls to Take on the World through Education Centres in India

Offering girls basic education is one sure way of giving them much greater power – of enabling them to make genuine choices over the kinds of lives they wish to lead. This is not a luxury. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women establish it as a basic human right. So why is it that despite proving to be a blessing to society the girl child is – in the worst case scenario – killed in the womb, or otherwise allowed to breathe but only the air of negligence, discrimination and deprivation? Today, we’re not only proud of great women of science like Sunita Williams, or women who’ve acted as agents of change like Sarojini Naidu, or  women who’ve taught us what it means to be human like Mother Teresa, but we also encourage such people to come forward and reform our world. Why is it that even though we claim to be the biggest democracy in the world we simply cannot destroy the …

A Beginner’s Guide to Stopping Time

This piece was written by Julia Z. – a high school student from the United States of America. All opinions are her own. We hear our grandparents say it. Preach it. Sitting around a crackling fire surrounded by family. Those wise with age warn those who listen eagerly – live while you’re young, enjoy every moment, time moves so fast. We hear the poets telling us to seize the day. Time is an enigmatic topic that attracts scholars, academics, and even inexperienced teenagers like myself. Is it possible that when people tell us to seize the day, they really are warning us to retain our innocence for as long as the universe will allow? Innocence is lost when the weight of the world is suddenly shifted onto the shoulders of an unsuspecting child. Burden, struggle, and responsibility are what make you transform from an innocent child to an adult who wears stress on his or her face like a child wears a smile. What I am describing hit me on a recent trip to Ethiopia. …

A Seat at the Table with Indego Africa

We have all heard the battle cry for education from the first lady, Michelle Obama and the call for inclusion from GIWPS Executive Director Melenne Verveer. Both women have been in the spotlight for their views and work with women and girls, specifically individuals living in impoverished areas or post conflict zones. Both women are sending the same message: Women and girls need to be seen as active drivers of progress and development, and we need to be better at including them in these processes. We know the facts and we have the data, and it proves that women don’t just deserve to be part of the magical operation called decision making but it also makes monetary sense as well as humanitarian sense. We are here, we are humans and we are capable of playing an active role in our legislative, judicial, parliamentary and governmental bodies so give us a seat at the freaking table. Since we have all these facts and data that prove the importance of educating girls and including women in the …

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 …

Gender Parity in Lesotho: 10 Years Later

Post Written By Stephanie Vizi In 2006, married women in the tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho, gained equal legal standing to men under the Legal Capacity of Married Persons Act. Now, any woman can legally own land, receive inheritance, and make her own decisions. Prior to 2006, women in Lesotho were considered legal minors. In 2003, the Sexual Offences Act was enacted to combat sexual violence. The Act officially defined all forms of unwanted sexual penetration as rape, not just vaginal penetration as it was prior to this Act. This act also gives legal rights and validity to men who have been raped. In addition, it states that marriage or any other relationship is not a legitimate defence to sexual violence. 10 Years Later It’s been over 10 years since these laws were put into place to protect women from gender inequality and abuse. However, implementation has been slow, especially in rural, mountainous villages, which accounts for the majority of the Basotho population. According to Thato Letsela, Help Lesotho’s Officer for Leadership Centres, “In general …

SDG 4: Why should we educate Girls?

The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 4, “Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”, is essential not only for the growth of communities but the overarching need to educate women and girls. Looking at the 10 the targets under Goal 4, it is clear that a gender and equality perspective has been taken into account – for example,  Goal 4.5 calls for ending gender disparities at all levels of education by 2030, and the language of many of the targets particularly talks of “girls and boys” and “men and women”.  Still, despite the known inequalities in education between girls and boys, many people question as to whether or not the gendered perspective is necessary when speaking on the right to education. When looking at the global status of girls and women, it becomes glaringly apparent that one of the major reasons underpinning the broader problem of gender inequality is the unequal access to education facing girls and women. Denying girls and women of their right to education impedes on them achieving progress in other …

Girl Power: 2015 International Day of the Girl

October 11th, International Day of the Girl, is a perfect opportunity to celebrate all the girls you know.  Tell them how strong they are.  Tell them how important and powerful they are.  Tell them they can do anything they choose.  Tell them how important their education is for their future.  Celebrate all the girls! Empower Girls Education empowers girls. When we invest in girls, we create a healthier, more prosperous future for everyone. Girls’ education bolsters their dignity, saves mother’s and children’s lives, and improves the socio-economic status of the entire world! At this very moment, there are 600 million adolescent girls around the world. That’s 600 million opportunities to improve human rights, spur economic growth, and improve the social development of families, communities, and countries for decades to come. Let’s empower girls! Mobilize Girls Today’s adolescent girls are the next generation of leaders in the world. We know that technology creates endless opportunities.  Cell phone technology is now reaching even the most remote parts of the world.  Yet, there’s a gender gap as girls still have …

Why We Can’t Ignore Adolescent Mothers

This post was authored by Sofia Mussa and Malwina Maslowska of WomenOne on behalf of the Coalition for Adolescent Girls.  Worldwide, an estimated 32 million adolescent girls are out of school. Barriers to secondary education disproportionately affect girls and include poverty, gender-based violence, child marriage, and pregnancy. WomenOne, along with members of the Coalition for Adolescent Girls (CAG), is dedicated to identifying the most hard-to-reach populations of girls and developing programs to ensure that no girl is denied her right to education. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), adolescent pregnancy is a major obstacle to girls’ education. Over half of all births in SSA are to adolescent girls aged 15-19. Additionally, government policies prevent many girls from staying in school while pregnant and continuing their education after delivery. In Sierra Leone, where nearly half of all girls become pregnant during adolescence, visibly pregnant girls and young mothers are prohibited from attending school and taking exams. National policies in Uganda allow schools to expel pregnant students despite laws aiming to achieve gender equality in education, and girls in …