The State of the World’s Girls 2013 – Because I am a girl -what is educating a girl worth?

Because I am a Girl, The State of the World’s Girls 2013
Plan UKThis 2013 ‘Because I am a Girl’ report looks at what happens to adolescent girls in disasters, and why. Using original research, reviews of secondary material, and the voices of girls themselves, we show how adolescent girls’ rights are being ignored before, during and after disasters, both in the urgency of a disaster response, and in the gaps between humanitarian and development work. We examine the tension between girls’ vulnerability to violence, and the resilience that they so often show in times of crisis. We look at what needs to be done, and give examples of good practice. We make the argument that listening to what adolescent girls have to say, ensuring that both their rights and their needs are catered for, and strengthening their resilience, is a key missing piece of humanitarian work.

Click to download the full report, or the executive summary.

 

The Global Partnership for Education’s new infographics below remind us how and why investing in girls’ education makes a difference, here are some facts:

> Some countries lose more than $1 billion per year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys,

> Women’s education has prevented more than 4 million child deaths in the past 40 years

> Investing in girls education could boost agricultural output in Africa by 25%

For further information, see UNESCO’s EFA Global Monitoring Report Education Transforms: download the Girls’ Education Factsheet and see the Education Transforms website.

infoGirlsEd

 

 

Read this piece by Susan Ngongi,UNICEF Representative in Ghana, to learn more about the transformative role that girls could have in growing Ghana’s economy, if they receive the right investments.

 

 

 

Investments in girls yield the greatest national dividends:

Mothers transmit their social and economic status to their children more easily than fathers. Educated young women have smaller families and healthier children. They are less likely to marry young or die in childbirth, more likely to send their children to school, and better able to protect themselves and their children from malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, trafficking, and sexual exploitation. An educated girl has better opportunities. She is more likely to get a job and earn a higher wage, and her nation’s economy is likely to benefit as a result. An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 per cent and an extra year of secondary school by 15 to 25 per cent. One percentage point increase in female education raises the average level of GDP by 0.3 percentage points. Well implemented, schools boost productivity and are a great equalizer of opportunity. This is the main avenue through which to develop the skills of girls. Ghana has achieved parity between boys and girls in primary school, but the gap begins to show in secondary school and by the tertiary level there are approximately twice as many boys as girls.

Source: UNGEI

Children’s Action for Disaster Risk Reduction

Sometimes children just seem victims of disasters with little power themselves – it is good to see that children are now been given opportunities to develop skills and present their ideas and even turn them into action.

Children’s Action for Disaster Risk Reduction

 

 

 

UNISDR and Plan“What would be the future of our settlement? Maybe, this village would exist only in name! It is frightening even to imagine how terrible our life would be and that of future generations,” the voice of Jonisha from Nepal and other children and youth in Asia is documented in Children’s Action for Disaster Risk Reduction 2012 – published by UNISDR and Plan International.

The aim of this publication is to provide children and youth in Asia a platform to report on progress made towards these commitments from their own point of view. By presenting their own experiences of participating in disaster risk reduction activities, it aims to highlight the capacity of children in order to inspire other children and youth, as well as encourage local governments, NGOs, and the private sector to support childcentered community risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

To download the document, click here.

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.

 

Climate Extreme: How young people can respond to disasters in a changing world

Climate Extreme: How young people can respond to disasters in a changing world

Disaster risk reduction is now being taken seriously and planning with all stakeholders, including young people, is now being implemented in a number of countries around the world. Climate change,although still being challenged by the sceptics, is now on the agenda and practical strategies are being planned.

This report is timely…

(Plan and the Children in a Changing Climate Coalition)

This short report is a child-friendly version of the 594-page document produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on managing disaster risks.

Plan, on behalf of the Children in a Changing Climate Coalition, took up the challenge of producing this easy to understand report. It gives children in developing countries knowledge about how to prepare and reduce the risks they could face when disasters hit their communities.

To access this resource, click here

Global Campaign to End Violence in Schools – PLAN

Ever since the UN secretary general’s study on Violence against Children was published  organisations such as Plan International have been attempting to reduce the fear that many children have when they go to school.

Plan International has released a progress report for the Learn Without Fear Campaign.  Learn Without Fear, a global campaign to protect tens of millions of children from violence and bullying in schools, has made impressive progress in its first year. Plan’s Learn Without Fear campaign was set up to address the fact that cruel and humiliating forms of physical punishment, gender-based violence and bullying are a daily reality for millions of children. Each year, 150 million girls and 73 million boys across the world are subjected to sexual violence, and 20-65 per cent of schoolchildren report being verbally or physically bullied.  At present, almost 90 countries have not yet prohibited corporal punishment in schools.  Plan believes that every child has the right to a safe school environment and envisions a world where children can go to school in safety and learn without fear or threats of violence.

The report highlights a number developments:

  • Legal frameworks are starting to be changed through Plan’s efforts eg in Ecuador and Nicaragua, over 5.5million children are now better protected by law
  • Over 20,000 teachers and other public servants have been trained
  • Over 280,000 children have been involved in campaign activities
  • The governments of 30 countries have invited Plan to work with them to stop school violence
  • Plan has created partnerships with teachers, lawyers, police and others
  • Thousands of schools are benefitting from codes of conduct and improved school policies promoted by Plan
  • 60 countries are working actively on the campaign
  • Plan has contributed new understanding of the issues faced by children by producing 45 different sets of research across 35 countries.

For access to the full report click here.