Day of the Girl Childto recognise girls' rights
Day of the Girl Child
On the 11th of October EFANet joined the celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child to recognise girls' rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. For its second observance, this year's Day focussed on "Innovating for Girls' Education". Although enrolment among girls in The Gambia is high, retention remains a major challenge, and gender disparities persist in performance, retention and completion. 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 realised.
Recognising the need for fresh and creative perspectives to drive girls' education forward, the 2013 International Day of the Girl Child addressed the importance of new technology, but also innovation in partnerships, policies, resource utilisation, community mobilisation, and most of all, the engagement of young people themselves. Representatives of e.g. the Ministry of Education, Unicef, the Social Welfare Department, Action Aid The Gambia, EFANet and the Forum for Women Educationalists Gambia (FAWEGAM) were invited to engage in discussions with young girls, about policies, early marriage, ensuring a safe and secure learning environment and discuss the role of young people as campaigners for girls' education.
Why is it so important that girls go to school?
- If a girl is educated for six years or more, as an adult her prenatal care, postnatal care and childbirth survival rates will dramatically and consistently improve.
- Each extra year of a mother's schooling reduces the probability of infant mortality by 5% to 10%
- A child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to live past the age of 5!
- One additional school year can increase a woman's earnings by 10% to 20%!