"To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it"
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela
Education is fundamental to achieving human rights and without considering the educational needs and rights of women and girls in Africa, global sustainable development goals cannot be achieved. By educating women and investing in their unbounded potential we will realize a more equal and just world. The education of women and girls is not only essential to achieving gender equity and equality but to addressing the full spectrum of development challenges. Research is showing more and more that education needs to be of high priority and is one of the most yielding investments a nation can make (AllAfrica, 2011).
We need to challenge obstacles to girls education such as child marriage, work pressure, violence, household duties, school fees, gender inequalities, menstruation, safety and the overall lack of quality education and resources. The current number of out-of-school children is 93 million worldwide and the majority of these children are girls and 80% of them live in sub-Saharan Africa (UNICEF, 2012).
Dropout rates in sub-Saharan Africa remain high with 30% of primary students terminating their formal education before receiving a final grade (UN, 2012). There has been significant progress towards achieving universal education but still, going to school is remains elusive for many girls in Africa. We need to prioritize girls education as educated girls grown up to be educated women who can lead their families and communities out of poverty.
Educated girls are less vulnerable to HIV/Aids, sexual exploitation and violence. They will marry later, contribute to family income, have stable family lives and overall be better contributors to their society (World Education, 2012). Providing girls one extra year of primary school education can increase their future wages by 10-20%, having positive benefits for all (AllAfirca, 2011). Overall, investing in girls education means a better future for society at large.
To ensure the presentation of a holistic approach to empowering women and girls in Africa, we also seek to prioritize adult education. Adult illiteracy in Africa has been coined as one of the continents most virulent diseases and is a topic that remains underrepresented in mainstream literature on international development.
The most basic measure of literacy is whether a person can read and write with the understanding of a basic statement. This is not a reality for nearly 900 million people 15 years and older worldwide (UNICEF, 2011). Of this unbelievable number, two thirds of illiterate adults are women (AllAfrica, 2011). In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, 1 in 3 adults cannot read (African Library Project, 2012). Beyond the daily inconveniences faced by illiterate women, they are greatly disadvantaged in all spheres form the economy to the health of their family. For example, children of mothers with no education are more than tice as likely to die or be malnourished as compared to children with mothers with secondary or higher level education (UNICEF, 2011). Women’s education must be prioritized.
The MEWC education program aims to:
For more information on please consult the following links:
Girls education in Africa: ·
Adult Literacy in Africa: