International Day of the Girl Child 2017

Again we need more than a day -but for raising awareness that leads to action, it is still worth celebrating:

Check out UBONGO kids from Tanzania:

While women currently make up over 50% of the labour force in Africa, they have very little control over the capital and resources on the continent. Moreover, in places like Tanzania, a higher percentage of girls complete primary school education than boys, but less of them graduate from high school and go on to receive a university degree. It is clear that there is a disparity between the capabilities of women and girls, and the opportunities afforded to them by society.

Recently, Ubongo’s research team went out to Lake Nakuru (Kenya), Mwanza and Shinyanga (both in Tanzania), to speak to adolescent girls (aged 10-14) and their parents about their ambitions and challenges in life. We were especially interested in learning about girls’ knowledge and perception of money, in order to deduce what skills they needed to learn to improve their financial literacy and gain better control over their resources. This ongoing project was undertaken in collaboration with SPRING, an organization that works with innovative companies which help transform the lives of adolescent girls living in East Africa and South Asia.

Today, as people across the world celebrate girls and address the key challenges to their development, we’d like to share with you five things we learned from the girls we met in Tanzania and Kenya.

Here are 5 things we learned:

  1. All the girls we spoke to expressed their ambition of achieving professional careers such as being; doctors, lawyers, pilots and that education was the key to achieving these ambitions

  2. Girls identified with female role models such as; their mother, aunt, local politicians and described their role models as hardworking, caring and ambitious

  3. Girls were in agreement that items they “want” rather than “need” should be purchased through their own savings

  4. Girls still desired the involvement of parents in financial decision making and parents cited the need for additional support in educating their daughters about financial literacy

  5. Parents desire girls to learn basic business concepts that involve allocation of capital expenses and reinvesting in diverse business ventures

With this information, we plan to create new episodes of Ubongo Kids that teach kids, and girls in particular, about saving, earning and budgeting. Moreover, we hope to be able to share this content with the millions of girls in emergency and crisis situations through our Ubongo Learn Anywhere Kits.

There is a lot more that we are planning, and we thank you for all the support you’ve shown us and the millions of girls across Africa that we reach through our content.

In the meantime, watch this inspiring song that we created especially for today to celebrate just how amazing girls are!

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Day of the Girl 2014 – breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence

Day of the Girl 2014 – breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence

dayofgirl

While working in Eastern and Southern Africa, there is not a day goes by without hearing about girls being discriminated against and being abused just for trying to get an education. Verbal, physical and sexual violence against girls is particularly prevalent. We need to end these cycles of violence…..

Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights”

-United Nations Resolution 66/170

Day of the Girl 2014 – Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence (Podcast)

UNICEF

Changing the World for Girls is a collaboration between the Beyond School Books podcast series and United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). In this series you will find discussions on the lasting impact education has on girls, communities and nations around the world.

This latest episode features Kuoth Wiel, a young actress who appears in the new Hollywood release, The Good Lie; and Professor Fiona Leach, an expert on international education.

To listen the Podcast, click here.

Check this infographic on the reasons to invest in girls’ education

http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/infographic/girl-child

 

Malala -no stranger to violence….

Nobel Peace Prize Win for Malala Is a Message to All Students Living in Conflict- Yes You Can
GCPEA

The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) congratulates Pakistani education activist, Malala Yousafzai, and Indian child rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi, for winning the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. “Around the world, girls and boys growing up in conflict face similar threats as Malala Yousafzai braved in Pakistan—her courage gives hope to all students fighting for their right to education,” said GCPEA Director Diya Nijhowne. “  “By honoring Yousafzai and Satyarthi, the Nobel Committee has recognized the critical link between addressing the dire protection needs of so many of the world’s children and achieving peace and security,” said Nijhowne.”

To read more, click here

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Breaking Cycles of Gender-based Violence in Schools Starts at Home

UNGEI Blog

This summer the world was captivated by the news of the schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria. Nigerian mothers became activists and international figures, including Malala Yousafzai, descended on the country in protest. Presidents around the world lent their voices to the outcry. Over a million tweets about the #BringBackOurGirls campaign spread throughout social media. Violence against adolescent girls in school-related settings takes center stage again this week as the world marks the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October.

Too often schools are a place where children face violence—including bullying, sexual and physical harassment and abuse, verbal violence, rape and assault. Though boys and girls are affected by SRGBV, girls are the most vulnerable.

To read the full post, click here.

International Day of the Girl Child – 11 October 2014

Having just returned from Zambia, it is frightening to find the pressures on girls just to fulfil their right to education ,let alone a quality education or even a life without being abused or discriminated against before they are 18. Work with the boys too, of course, but an improvement in the life of many girls will bring benefits for all.

Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights”

-United Nations Resolution 66/170

International Day of the Girl Child – 11 October

“Girls face discrimination and violence every day across the world. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.” 

This year, the theme is “Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence”. – See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/girl-child#sthash.vvoIda3E.dpuf

Just two years ago, the UN declared October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world.  It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.The fulfillment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is also overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves.

For more information on UNICEF’s initiatives and activities for the Day, click here.

 

“There is … overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves: it is the one consistent positive determinant of practically every desired development outcome, from reductions in mortality and fertility, to poverty reduction and equitable growth, to social norm change and democratization.”

unicefgirl

Though life for the girl child is steadily improving, many are still subjected to horrific practices, such as female genital mutilation, son preference – often resulting in female infanticide – as well as child marriage, sexual exploitation and abuse. Girls are also more likely to experience discrimination in food allocation and healthcare, and are often outpaced and outranked by boys in all spheres of life. The Girl Child was also one of the 12 critical areas of concern raised in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Actionin 1995, concluding in nine strategic objectives framed as a means of holding governments accountable for girl’s rights. – See more at: http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/in-focus/girl-child#sthash.r5P7EfLH.dpuf

 

Some data and info

Key messages

  • 31 million girls around the world are denied their right to education and school girls are attacked just for trying to go to school
  • Education works. Educated girls are healthier, live longer, earn more, and are more likely to escape poverty and exploitation
  • Education increases opportunities and choices for families – helping eliminate child marriage and other forms of exploitation. No girl should be denied and education

Facts about girls and education

  • 31 million girls are out of school.Girls Rise #UpForSchool
  • Every year a girl stays in school increases her earning potential by 10-20%.
  • Ghana has made great progress towards the Millennium Development Goal target to get every child in school by 2015. The rate of primary school enrolment grew by more than 20% between 2004 and 2013, bringing more than 270,000 girls into
  • education.
  • Almost a quarter of young women aged 15-24 today (116 million) in developing countries have never completed primary school.
  • 2.1 million lives of children under 5 were saved between 1990 and 2009 because of improvements in the education of women of reproductive age.
  • Evidence shows that investments in education clearly contribute to better health outcomes. A child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five than a child born to an illiterate mother. Education mothers are better informed about specific preventable diseases and illnesses such as diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria, leading killers of children

Investingingirlsistherightandsmartthingtodo-thumbnail_53d03a8227448

 

Infographic courtesy of UNICEF, Every Woman Every Child and UN Global Education First Initiative. – See more at: http://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/in-focus/girl-child#sthash.JUH2d4TB.dpuf

From 2013 (UNICEF):

 

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and child marriage?

In Tanzania you can find parents who threaten teachers so as to get their daughters to fail the end of primary leaving exam so that they do not go on to secondary education and get married early. Any choice for them? Apart from cultural issues, helping to get the parents out of poverty may help allow some girls more choice in their futures.

 

From INEE:

Some things you can do on International Day of the Girl
  1. Sign and Share the #UpForSchool petition at www.upforschool.org
  2. Share a new report by Plan International highlighting The State of the World’s Girls 2014
  3. Act now and donate to the first Child Marriage Free Zone in Pakistan #EndChildMarriage
  4. Share the film: Rise #UpForSchool Now

Global Events:
A list of global events celebrating the IDGC can be found here.

Other resources and articles:

And for further inspiration:

Congratulations to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their struggles for the rights of children and young people, including the right of all children to education!
 

International Day of the Girl Child – 2013

Theme for 2013: Innovating for Girls’ Education

girlchildlogo

 

 

We have heard much about Malala recently to illustrate the strength and capacity of girls -what we need to do is to ensure that all girls have opportunities to develop their skills and abilities without prejudice and stereotyping which has limited their opportunities in the past. As far as education goes we also know that improving the quality of education for girls means improving the quality of education for all.

Of course we do not need an International Day but if it focuses attention and resources and reduces some barriers to inclusion then we can go with that.

ugandadrum130819

Photo © UNICEF/UGDA2011-00104/YANNICK TYLLE

A young Ugandan woman uses UNICEF’s unique innovation the solar powered Digital Drum, a rugged computer kiosk built into an oil drum and pre-loaded with dynamic multimedia content on health, job training, education opportunities, and other services (Bosco Youth Centre in Gulu, Uganda).

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. For its second observance, this year’s Day will focus on “Innovating for Girls’ Education”.

The fulfilment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is also overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves: it is the one consistent positive determinant of practically every desired development outcome, from reductions in mortality and fertility, to poverty reduction and equitable growth, to social norm change and democratization.

While there has been significant progress in improving girls’ access to education over the last two decades, many girls, particularly the most marginalized, continue to be deprived of this basic right. Girls in many countries are still unable to attend school and complete their education due to safety-related, financial, institutional and cultural barriers. Even when girls are in school, perceived low returns from poor quality of education, low aspirations, or household chores and other responsibilities keep them from attending school or from achieving adequate learning outcomes. The transformative potential for girls and societies promised through girls’ education is yet to be realized.

Recognizing the need for fresh and creative perspectives to propel girls’ education forward, the 2013 International Day of the Girl Child will address the importance of new technology, but also innovation in partnerships, policies, resource utilization, community mobilization, and most of all, the engagement of young people themselves.

All UN agencies, Member States, civil society organizations, and private sector actors have potential tools to innovate for and with girls to advance their education. Examples of possible steps include:

  • Improved public and private means of transportation for girls to get to school—from roads, buses, mopeds, bicycles to boats and canoes;
  • Collaboration between school systems and the banking industry to facilitate secure and convenient pay delivery to female teachers and scholarship delivery to girls;
  • Provision of science and technology courses targeted at girls in schools, universities and vocational education programmes;
  • Corporate mentorship programmes to help girls acquire critical work and leadership skills and facilitate their transition from school to work;
  • Revisions of school curricula to integrate positive messages on gender norms related to violence, child marriage, sexual and reproductive health, and male and female family roles;
  • Deploying mobile technology for teaching and learning to reach girls, especially in remote areas.

technogirl130819

TECHNO GIRL

The Techno girl is conducting an inspection of the pipe connections. Techno Girl programmeteaches essential skills to young women in South Africa .

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“Innovate Your Future: Empower Young Women through Technology” Google + Hangout with Geena Davis, Academy Award-winning actor and ITU Special Envoy for Women and Girls in the field of information and communication :

technologies

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To celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child, UNICEF has published a series of stories highlighting innovations for girls’ education around the globe.

Smart and creative use of technology is one route to overcoming gender barriers to girls’ learning and achievement. But innovation in partnerships, policies, resource utilization, community mobilization, and most of all, the engagement of girls and young people themselves, can be important catalyzing forces.

UNICEF and its partners in all regions of the world are leading the way in innovative projects to accelerate progress for girls, particularly the most marginalized.  Countries are exploring new education delivery systems and infrastructures, transforming curriculum to promote gender-sensitive pedagogy, and finding new ways to engage both traditional and non-traditional partners.

  • Youth mobilization and activism empowers girls to speak out and attend school

     

     

    Education is one of the most critical areas of youth empowerment and mobilization, especially for girls, who consistently face exclusion and discrimination over the course of their lives.

    ‘Speak out’ clubs in Rwanda
    UNICEF, together with partners, is empowering girls to speak out. In Rwanda, UNICEF partnered with the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) to conduct Tuseme, or ‘speak out,’ clubs in 54 schools across the country. These clubs comprise boys and girls from all grades and provide an opportunity for students to come together to discuss challenges they face at school.

    TUSEME clubs are also being used by UNESCO in their Girls’ Education projects in Tanzania


    © UNICEF Rwanda
      “Theatre is an important tool for addressing social issues and raising awareness among school children. It is a fun way to engage children and build confidence. Children really enjoy theatre but at the same time it plays an important role in passing on important messages,” said Pacifique Jean Claude Ingabire, Program Office at FAWE.In June, at Murama School in Bugesera District, over 100 students gathered to watch a theatre performance by the school’s Tuseme club. The play tackled issues that might prevent girls from completing their education: early pregnancy, self-esteem and transactional relationships between young girls and older men.“The Tuseme club has helped me build my confidence and speak out against issues such as teacher harassment and teenage pregnancies,” said Priscole Cyuzuzo, an 18 year-old girl.

    Solange Uwamahoro, Head Teacher of Murama School, added, “The clubs have helped empower young girls. When they have problems they are able to talk about how they might overcome these challenges.”

    Young Champions stand up for girls’ education in Nepal and Pakistan
    In South Asia, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative’s (UNGEI) Young Champion (YC) programme identifies and trains young volunteers dedicated to the promotion of girls’ education. YCs work together with other activists to convince parents to send their children to school, keeping records and monitoring out-of-school children.

    In Nepal, Mr. Kalara Ram, 30 years-old from Lahan Municipality, exemplifies the success of the YC model. After completing his training, Mr. Ram identified 52 children in his community not going to school and counselled these children and their parents on the importance of quality education. He continues to raise the voice for children’s rights among social and governmental organizations and inspires children from the most disadvantaged communities to enrol and stay in school.


    © UNICEF Nepal
      In urban slums on the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan, Mr. Syed Mohsin Raza volunteers in the YC initiative to get every child in school. Since September 2010, he has “managed to have more than 200 children enrolled. Initially, it is difficult to convince the parents.I tell about the advantages of educating their children and eventually they agree. I encourage them to keep their children in school for at least 10 years,” he said.

    Most out-of-school children are marginalized and poor; some have been forced by circumstances to drop out and engage in child labour. Shirin Nayyar, 6 years-old, was enrolled due to the efforts of Mr. Raza, who convinced her parents to let her receive non-formal education. Within a few months, Shirin showed good progress and enrolled at the local Government Primary School Ahmedabad.

    “I am a poor man and did not realize the importance of education my children,” said Abbas Nayyar, Shirin’s father. “Ever since Shirin started going to school, my thoughts have changed. Now I believe that parents who do not send their children to school commit a major sin. I will work hard to education all my children so that they could have a better life.”

    In Ghana, UNICEF is equipping a group of Tech Girls to become young journalists and tell their stories via blogs and digital photography. They are also given skills to advocate for change in their communities. Gloria Seidu, 11, is one of the members of the group, said, “I am writing a story about the girls who sell sachets of water on the street. They are missing out on going to school.”

    There are 100 Tech Girls in schools across the Northern Region of Ghana. For the past year, they met outside of class time for sessions in ICT. The girls had never touched a computer before so the lessons started with the basics. “Before, if you would go to class, only boys would raise their hands to talk. Now the Tech Girls stand tall and speak out. There is a difference in their general performance, and their grades have all improved,” Pong Tamale School headmaster, Tia Anthony. More of their stories can be found on www.voicesofyouth.org.

    Through these youth empowerment and mobilization efforts, UNICEF and partners address issues of girls’ education at school and community levels. They are giving a voice to youth activists and ensuring that these voices are heard. Mr. Raza added, “I keep visiting their schools to check their progress, and see their families to know how they feel about their children being educated. In case a child stops coming to school, I follow up and try to find the reason. It is important that no child drops out once enrolled.”

    Related links
    http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/rwanda.html
    http://www.unicef.org/nepal/
    http://www.unicef.org/pakistan/
    http://www.ungei.org/index.php
    http://www.fawe.org

  • Going mobile: An innovative approach to girls education

    Around the world, UNICEF is setting up mobile schools to make education for girls a reality, even under extreme circumstances.

    Mobile solutions for girls of nomadic communities in Mongolia

    Six year old ‘Erka’ lives with a semi nomadic herder family in the remote Khuvsgul province of Mongolia, a very isolated area that is particularly difficult in winter when the days shorten, temperatures plunge and heavy snow plies up outside.


    © UNICEF Mongolia/2012/Brown
      Luckily, there is a mobile kindergarten nearby that she can attend.  Supported by UNICEF, the mobile kindergartens are a unique solution to providing education to the children of nomadic communities in Mongolia.Here children can play, learn and socialise with each other while parents work with the livestock making a living for the family.

    “I like to come to the kindergarten,” says Erka. “My favourite poem is about a baby chicken and my favourite song is about getting an excellent mark at school.  Yesterday I got an excellent mark for my drawing.”

    This is not a small achievement for Erka. At only four months old she contracted polio and was left with a damaged right arm and leg and difficulties \ communicating. She was abandoned by her mother and adopted by her current parents who now bring her to the kindergarten every day. They couldn’t be happier with her improvements. “Erka has learned to sing, dance and play. She says to me: Daddy please take me to the kindergarten in the morning and don’t forget to pick me up in the afternoon,” says Erka’s father.

    The mobile learning facilities are built on UNICEF’s Child-friendly principles providing a safe, healthy, protective and inclusive school environment in which, amongst other essential skills, children learn the values of respect, tolerance and democracy through active learning mythologies.   As a result, their presence is breaking harmful social norms and making education more accessible for girls in the communities where they operate.

    Extreme weather conditions is no longer a barrier to education in Ethiopia
    Hassena Ibrahim is a 13 old girl from Amibara Woreda of Afar, Ethiopia, who is determined to become a teacher and fight against child marriage.  Hassena is a student at Sedehafage Full Level Primary School, a mobile school supported by UNICEF to provide education for children of the pastoralist communities who often move during the draught session.

    In addition to everyday classes, Hassena is also attending Girls Mini Media Life skills Clubs supported by UNICEF. But so far, she is the only girl in her class level. “I think the main cause of female students drop outs is cultural influence. Parents force students to get married before the complete primary school,” said Hassana. “I wish to become a teacher and transform this harmful practice by advocating for girls education for pastoral girls.”

    Innovative school structures offers hope in emergencies and remote areas in Pakistan 
    In Rajanpur district in Pakistan, the Transitional School Structures (TSS) built by UNICEF have attracted community support and are bringing more girls to school. The structures were initially built in 2010 to respond to the flooding emergency which paralyzed the already over-burdened education system.  Two years later, when the floods again washed out many areas in Pakistan, the TSS were the only un-flooded schools in the affected area.
    Farhat, 14, is one of the oldest students at the TSS in Basti Poly village.  She is not only one of the brightest in her class but she is a strong activist of girls education.  Single-handedly, Farhat recruited all of her friends to attend classes in their temporary school. “The elders have realised that girls should receive education. Thanks to the social mobilizers and members of the youth group, the number of girls in our school has increased,” said Farhat.

    Gulnaz Jabeen Khan, education officer at UNICEF, explained that the TSS are highly supported by the community and many of them are constructed on the land donated by the villagers.  “The enthusiasm and the will of people of Basti Poli to educate their children, especially girls, is exemplary. It is an indication that people of even such a far off, remote and under privileged area, are realising the urgent need of our time – education for their children,” said Mr. Khan.

    Related links
    http://www.unicef.org/mongolia/
    http://www.unicef.org/ethiopia/
    http://www.unicef.org/pakistan/

  • Thinking Outside of the Box, through Film and Art

    One of the greatest hurdles in guaranteeing every girl’s right to an education is to change the mindsets of policy makers, community leaders and family members. Film is an original and promising vehicle to transform attitudes and move people to act on behalf of girls’ education. Film is a powerful tool to amplify the voices of girls speaking out on their own behalf. Around the world UNICEF and its partners are using the power of film to highlight the importance of girls’ education.

    To Education a Girl in Nepal and Uganda
    The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) supported the production of To Educate a Girl, which tells the inspiring story of young girls pursuing their education despite odds. Filmmakers Frederick Rendina and Oren Rudavsky traveled to Nepal and Uganda in 2010 to document the lives of girls determined to follow their dreams amid poverty and in the aftermath of conflict.

    “I will go to school. I will take my notebook and pen,” says Mercy, a resolute and unforgettable six-year-old growing up in post-war Uganda. On the other side of the globe, in the hills of Nepal thirteen-year-old Sanju reminds viewers of the damaging effects of poverty on girls’ opportunities.

    She also knows that if only given the chance, she could do great things: “If I were rich,” she says, “I’m sure I would become a scientist.” To Educate a Girl has been screened at numerous film festivals and at many colleges and universities.

    UNGEI also teamed with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to create lesson plans to accompany the film, helping students to learn about the disparity in education for boys and girls and take action to eliminate these disparities.

    A bright spot in darkness in Guinea
    In Guinea, UNICEF supported the production of the Eva Weber’s acclaimed documentary Black Out. The film follows crowds of youth as they congregate around gas stations and the G’bessia International Airport at night – to study.

    Extreme poverty dictates mandatory power outages in Guinea. So during exam season in Conakry, hundreds of students – boys and girls – make a nightly pilgrimage to find light.

    One young woman featured in the film tells viewers: “I come from far away to study here [a gas station]. Sometimes I have to spend the night here. As a woman it can be dangerous to go back around 11pm. So sometimes we are forced to spend the night here, because of the lack of electricity.”

    Teaming with UNICEF, the filmmaker returned to Guinea to screen the film for local officials, hoping to spark discussion about ways to improve conditions for these students, whose brave determination to pursue an education offers a bright spot in darkness.

    “One minute” is more than enough in Romania!
    In countries like Romania, UNICEF puts girls behind the camera through OneMinutesJr videos. OneMinutesJr, a partnership between UNICEF and the One Minutes Foundation, is an international initiative that gives marginalized youth an opportunity to create 60-second videos, affording them a chance not only share their views with the world.

    **

    In Romania, 14-year-old Alaxandra Dima produced A Part of Me to express her escape life in the slums: “Every day I take the same road to school and my tutoring classes. Everything I see makes me sick: addicts and prostitues…But I don’t blend in. I try to stand out from the crowd and avoid becoming a bad example. Even though it is hard, I put a lot of effort in everything I do, because I do it for my future! I want to graduate from school and high school, get a job and move out of this neighbourhood. It’s the only way.”

    Film is an innovative advocacy tool for girls’ education, changing minds and inspiring action by allowing people to see and hear from girls themselves.

    Related Links:
    • http://www.unicef.org/wcaro/
    • http://www.unicef.org/romania/
    • http://www.ungei.org
    • http://www.blackout-documentary.com/Black_Out/Home.html
    • http://www.toeducateagirl.com/index.htm
    • http://www.theoneminutesjr.org/
    • http://www.theoneminutes.org/

     

     

The State of the World’s Girls 2012: Learning for Life

We have just celebrated “International Day of the Girl” (see blog post and UNICEF podcast below) so the report on the State of the World’s girls is an important landmark:

The State of the World’s Girls 2012: Learning for Life 
Education Above All

The sixth report in Plan’s annual State of the World’s Girls series, ‘Learning for life’, takes a critical look at the state of girls’ education. The report argues that behind the success of global parity in primary education enrolment figures lies a crisis in the quality of learning.

Enrolment figures measure attendance on one day of the school year, and they are currently the only measure of success. They tell us nothing about real access to education or the quality of what is being taught, or learnt.

All over the world poverty and discrimination continue to have a detrimental effect on girls’ attendance in school. This is particularly true when they reach adolescence and, in many families, a daughter’s domestic and reproductive role takes precedence over her right to education.

Violence in schools, early marriage, pregnancy and housework continue to constitute significant barriers to girls’ education around the world.
The challenge now is to make sure that all girls, however poor, isolated or disadvantaged, are able to attend school on a regular basis and gain a good quality education that equips them for life.

The full report can be found here in English, Spanish, and French.

UNICEF Podcast #65 “Celebrating International Day of the Girl”
UNICEF11 October 2012 marked the first ever International Day of the Girl Child, a day established by the United Nations to highlight the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. This year’s theme is “Ending Child Marriage”, chosen because child marriage denies a girl of her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk of violence and abuse and jeopardizes her health.

To discuss the role of education in ending child marriage and enabling girls to reach their full potential, UNICEF podcast moderator Femi Oke spoke with UNICEF’s Principal Adviser, Gender Rights and Civic Engagement, Dr. Anju Malhotra.

To listen, click here.

Thanks to INEE for reference to both of the above.

International day of the Girl Child – 11th October 2012

International day of the Girl Child  – 11th October 2012

In Tanzania there are villages where teachers are condemned by parents if they attempt to support girls to pass the end of primary exam. Fathers who need their daughters to marry early so that they could gain wealth from dowry cattle will ensure that their daughters do not continue to secondary school. This is just one small story in the encyclopaedia of stories of discrimination and injustice for girls.

International day of the Girl Child  -11th October 2012

Theme for 2012: Ending Child marriage

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

For its first observance, this year’s Day will focus on child marriage, which is a fundamental human rights violation and impacts all aspects of a girl’s life. Child marriage denies a girl of her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk to be a victim of violence and abuse, jeopardizes her health and therefore constitutes an obstacle to the achievement of nearly every Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and the development of healthy communities.

Globally, around one in three young women aged 20-24 years were first married before they reached age 18. One third of them entered into marriage before they turned 15. Child marriage results in early and unwanted pregnancies, posing life-threatening risks for girls. In developing countries, 90 per cent of births to adolescents aged 15-19 are to married girls, and pregnancy-related complications are the leading cause of death for girls in this age group.

Girls with low levels of schooling are more likely to be married early, and child marriage has been shown to virtually end a girl’s education. Conversely, girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to marry as children, making education one of the best strategies for protecting girls and combating child marriage.

Preventing child marriage will protect girls’ rights and help reduce their risks of violence, early pregnancy, HIV infection, and maternal death and disability, including obstetric fistula. When girls are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, they can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families and participate in the progress of their nations.

Activities and events to mark the Day are organized by UNFPAUNICEFUN Women.

Governments in partnership with civil society actors and the international community are called upon to take urgent action to end the harmful practice of child marriage and to:

  • Enact and enforce appropriate legislation to increase the minimum age of marriage for girls to 18 and raise public awareness about child marriage as a violation of girls’ human rights.
  • Improve access to good quality primary and secondary education, ensuring that gender gaps in schooling are eliminated.
  • Mobilize girls, boys, parents, leaders, and champions to change harmful social norms, promote girls’ rights and create opportunities for them.
  • Support girls who are already married by providing them with options for schooling, sexual and reproductive health services, livelihoods skills, opportunity, and recourse from violence in the home.
  • Address the root causes underlying child marriage, including gender discrimination, low value of girls, poverty, or religious and cultural justifications.
Because I am a Girl Campaign
Plan InternationalWe are working with girls, communities, traditional leaders, governments, global institutions and the private sector to address the barriers that prevent girls from completing their education.We are calling for:

  • girls’ education to be prioritised by world leaders
  • girls’ completion of a quality secondary education to be a major focus of international action
  • funding for girls education to be increased
  • an end to child marriage
  • an end to gender-based violence in and around schools
  • girls and boys to participate in decision making and inspire those with power to take action

Reaching millions of girls

Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign aims to reach 4 million girls directly – improving their lives with access to school, skills, livelihoods and protection. We will also achieve these improvements through better family and community support and access to services for girls. In addition, we aim to reach 40 million girls and boys indirectly in terms of positive improvements through our gender programmes. We also aim to reach 400 million girls through policy change. This means helping to bring about quantifiable improvements in policy makers, service providers and government support for gender equality and girls’ rights.

For more information click here.

Because I am a girl – International day of the Girl Child – 11th October 2012

In Tanzania there are villages where teachers are condemned by parents if they attempt to support girls to pass the end of primary exam. Fathers who need their daughters to marry early so that they could gain wealth from dowry cattle will ensure that their daughters do not continue to secondary school. This is just one small story in the encyclopaedia of stories of discrimination and injustice for girls.

 

 

International day of the Girl Child  -11th October 2012

Theme for 2012: Ending Child marriage

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

For its first observance, this year’s Day will focus on child marriage, which is a fundamental human rights violation and impacts all aspects of a girl’s life. Child marriage denies a girl of her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk to be a victim of violence and abuse, jeopardizes her health and therefore constitutes an obstacle to the achievement of nearly every Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and the development of healthy communities.

Globally, around one in three young women aged 20-24 years were first married before they reached age 18. One third of them entered into marriage before they turned 15. Child marriage results in early and unwanted pregnancies, posing life-threatening risks for girls. In developing countries, 90 per cent of births to adolescents aged 15-19 are to married girls, and pregnancy-related complications are the leading cause of death for girls in this age group.

Girls with low levels of schooling are more likely to be married early, and child marriage has been shown to virtually end a girl’s education. Conversely, girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to marry as children, making education one of the best strategies for protecting girls and combating child marriage.

Preventing child marriage will protect girls’ rights and help reduce their risks of violence, early pregnancy, HIV infection, and maternal death and disability, including obstetric fistula. When girls are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, they can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families and participate in the progress of their nations.

Activities and events to mark the Day are organized by UNFPAUNICEFUN Women.

Governments in partnership with civil society actors and the international community are called upon to take urgent action to end the harmful practice of child marriage and to:

  • Enact and enforce appropriate legislation to increase the minimum age of marriage for girls to 18 and raise public awareness about child marriage as a violation of girls’ human rights.
  • Improve access to good quality primary and secondary education, ensuring that gender gaps in schooling are eliminated.
  • Mobilize girls, boys, parents, leaders, and champions to change harmful social norms, promote girls’ rights and create opportunities for them.
  • Support girls who are already married by providing them with options for schooling, sexual and reproductive health services, livelihoods skills, opportunity, and recourse from violence in the home.
  • Address the root causes underlying child marriage, including gender discrimination, low value of girls, poverty, or religious and cultural justifications.
Because I am a Girl Campaign
Plan InternationalWe are working with girls, communities, traditional leaders, governments, global institutions and the private sector to address the barriers that prevent girls from completing their education.We are calling for:

  • girls’ education to be prioritised by world leaders
  • girls’ completion of a quality secondary education to be a major focus of international action
  • funding for girls education to be increased
  • an end to child marriage
  • an end to gender-based violence in and around schools
  • girls and boys to participate in decision making and inspire those with power to take action

Reaching millions of girls

Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign aims to reach 4 million girls directly – improving their lives with access to school, skills, livelihoods and protection. We will also achieve these improvements through better family and community support and access to services for girls. In addition, we aim to reach 40 million girls and boys indirectly in terms of positive improvements through our gender programmes. We also aim to reach 400 million girls through policy change. This means helping to bring about quantifiable improvements in policy makers, service providers and government support for gender equality and girls’ rights.

For more information click here.