While female empowerment through education is becoming increasingly realised as an effective catalyst for sustainable development and poverty alleviation, the onset of puberty has many negative implications for keeping girls engaged in schooling in the developing world. Critical factors disrupting educational outcomes for girls include:
- Loss of a parent
- Distance to school
- Harassment on the way to school
- Discrimination or bullying at school
- Family preference to spend limited finances on sons over daughters
- Lack of female teachers
- Puberty marking the beginning of adulthood with the following negative implications:
- Expectations to earn an income
- Domestic chores / Care of dependents
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Child Marriage
- Teen Pregnancy
Adolescent girls who attend and complete their secondary schooling have reduced vulnerability to disease, delayed marriages, improved infant and child survival rates and higher economic productivity. Whilst puberty and adolescence is an inevitable fact of life, dropping out of school prematurely does not have to be.
“Whilst puberty and adolescence is an inevitable fact of life for
girls, dropping out of school prematurely does not have to be.”
This project will
1. Conduct surveys with key schools to determine if girls’ education is being disrupted by the onset of puberty and throughout adolescence.
2. Identify targeted actions that will result in keeping girls in school, such as
- Establish a sustainable supply of affordable and culturally appropriate sanitary products with consideration to discrete and hygienic disposal or washing, drying and storage. Accompany product supply with health and hygiene education workshops to reduce naivety, demystify misconceptions and stimulate comfortability. Education programs must involve both genders to challenge negative attitudes and obstructive behaviour.
- Sensitise teachers to student menstrual needs and, where possible, allocate a member of staff as a ‘carer’ for support and pain relief.
- Segregate school bathrooms by gender and keep them well maintained for cleanliness and privacy. They should contain wash basins, hand soap, disposal bins, secure locks and toilet paper.
- Encourage families in school life through regular parent-teacher interviews and/ or functions to communicate the importance of ongoing schooling.
- Build on-site dormitories to reduce the necessity of travel. Each dorm should have adequate security, internal bathrooms and supportive female role models.
- Promote intergenerational dialogues and intercultural forums to foster individual opinions on FGM rather than blind submission.
- Facilitate platforms for professional advice from obstetricians and gynaecologists on reversal procedures and coping mechanisms.
- Develop community ‘safe spaces’ and case worker programmes to overcome isolation, build self-esteem and inspire leadership amongst at-risk females.
- Engagement with religious or traditional leaders can positively advocate anti-child marriage and dissolve inequitable gender attitudes.
- Creative and expressive forms of communication such as street theatre, art or public speaking stands which convey harmful impacts. Likewise, social media is becoming increasingly powerful as a means of issue awareness.
- Ensure access to contraception. Incorporate sex education into school curriculums which address cultural misconceptions surrounding contraception. Make family planning and mental health services available in the community to moderate risk-taking behaviour.
- Establish residential services in shelters or foster care to provide protection from sexual predation in unsafe neighbourhoods.
Keeps 1 girl in school for 3 years by providing re-usable sanitary products
Facilitates early diagnosis and treatment for 10 at-risk children
Develops supportive networks so 10 deaf people can lead productive lives
Builds a dorm-style safe space so deaf children can be educated
|Anonymous||$1,000.00||June 08, 2018|
|Anonymous||$50.00||June 08, 2018|
|Anonymous||$100.00||June 06, 2018|