Let us firstly examine some facts. It is estimated that worldwide, 62 million Girls-half of whom are adolescent are not in school. And the disparity in gender in education remains quite real today worldwide, with 78 per cent of girls dropping out of school compared to 48 per cent of boys. Despite dramatic improvements over the last decade, progress towards achieving education for all has stagnated. In total, 121 million children and adolescents are currently out of primary and lower secondary school worldwide – a number that has remained essentially constant since 2007. 78 million of these children live in Low Income generating Countries. School systems need to be strengthened with a special focus on reaching marginalized children.
Hello Everyone. My Name is Kebeh Teta Zubah; I’m a Professional Social Worker, Trauma Counselor, Co-Founder & CEO of Aid for Girls and Children Foundation-Ghana; an NGO that is addressing the educational needs of Girls and Children in Urban-Deprived cities and Rural Communities.
- What factors or barriers affect the interest and participation of women and girls in education in your society?
I have been fortunate to work in various capacities for many years with girls, boys and children both in Ghana and Liberia. Indeed, Girls are marginalized educationally; with one of the major causes summed up in what I would describe as.” Wrong Socialization Patterns deeply embedded in cultural norms. Negative practices and values predominantly in African Societies-reinforced by the agents and agencies of Socialization: The Family, Peer Groups, Media, The Church, The School and other institutions that socialize people.” Undoubtedly the environment, in which a person was raised, plays a pivotal role in their development holistically. Girls in many Societies have been groomed to take on inferior roles right from the home than that of boys. Many girls in some societies are socialized wrongly with emphasis being played on preparations for marriage, children bearing and raising and household chores rather than Education; while many boys are encouraged and sometimes sponsored educationally to attain the highest level of Education. This is where I feel the inequality starts, with more VALUE being placed on boys than girls. This for me is one of the major factors among others: Economic factors, A breakdown in the family system (Single Parenting), some parents are simply ignorant of the importance of Education and Educational systems that is not producing enough Learning.
- How can women and girls’ education be encouraged/sustained, particularly in societies where they face educational barriers the most?
I think societies where girls are marginalized educationally should take a critical look at their institutions that socialize people particularly the family and address barriers hampering girls Education.
Affirmative actions should be taken to encourage more female enrollment in schools.
The Government should do more in promoting girls Education particularly in rural and urban deprived Communities by coming up with social policies that will motivate girls’ desire to learn and take on leadership roles just as boys in every field of expertise.
Building nice schools is not enough. Girls need Free Basic quality education with complementary services to sustain their education without prejudice against their sex or gender.
- Recommend strategies to overcome these educational barriers that women and girls face.
- One strategy is for the Government to make Basic Education free, compulsory and sustainable for both boys and girls in rural and urban deprived communities with complementary services that address their unique needs and efficiency. Provide REALISTIC loans to encourage Girls’ education, subsidized health care services and housing, provide free day care services for single teenage mothers child/children- to enable them learn effectively.
- Restructure the educational system to meet relevant societal needs/demands with a reasonable amount of focus on creativity, teacher’s training and practical acquisition of knowledge.
- Governments should regulate the activities of agencies and institutions that socialize both girls and boys thoroughly especially in societies where girls experience inequalities in education; ensuring their educational Rights are not trampled upon as enshrined in both national and international treaties.
- Lastly, corporate social responsibility. We should all educate anyone infringing on the Educational rights of girls and champion this cause further through social media, visual and print media, etc.
Kindly, share your thoughts about girls’ education. You can comment on our blog. We would love to hear what you think.