|Education can help women to achieve, Planet 50-50 by 2030|
Today, many argue that education is the closest thing that exists to a silver bullet for breaking the cycle of poverty. Not only can a formal education provide people with the tools they need to attain financial stability, it can also empower those who break out of poverty to “pay it forward” and give back to their communities.
The International Women’s Day is globally marked on the 8th of March. This year, 2017, the Women’s Day is commemorated under the theme “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”.
The marking of the women’s day commemoration is coinciding with the 6th – 10th of March 2017 UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development with focus on The Role of Education. The event is being held in Ottawa, Canada.
Humana People to People over the years has been part of the numerous efforts helping women to cross the gender divide, overcome cultural barriers and achieve gender equity. The strength of empowering women is based on the vision and consensus that literate women are well positioned to break-through in life as they make better decisions on family health, earn better income and generally live a better life. Thus the role of women in education is much prominent as the women hold a key position in the growth and nurturing of children’s lives.
The idea of the theme, Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030, is to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and number 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The theme will also focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.
Some key targets of the 2030 Agenda:
As we celebrate the International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, we would like to share with you some of the interesting women centered actions Humana People to People is actively involved with. Enjoy the briefings below:
Training Girls to become Primary School Teachers & earn Life Skills
Humana People to People is committed to ensuring gender equality as an organization as well as within its processes of carrying out development efforts. The employment policy favours a 50-50 gender representation. Equally the same the students who get enrolled with the Teacher Training Colleges, undergraduates recruited by the One World University in Changalane, Mozambique, Preschool of the Teacher Training Colleges, as well as the 8 Vocational Training Schools are done with a fair chance of giving the young women and girls gender balance in accessing skills training.
Involving families and communities in securing girls’ education is essential to closing the education equity gap. That’s why Humana People to People is working in communities across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to ensure that girls are educated as a means to break the cycle of poverty. Humana People to People knows that when girls are educated, they earn 12 - 25% more income.
NIKHALAMO – “Girl Child Stay in School” in Mozambique
The NIKHALAMO project implemented by ADPP Mozambique, a member of Humana People to People, in partnership with Girl Child Rights are making numerous strides which are helping in retaining girls in primary and secondary schools in Zambezia province of Mozambique. The project is bringing back many girls to school.
For example, Bonifacio Gruveta Massamba Secondary School in Macuse, Zambezia province had trouble in retaining grade 8 and 9 girls due to high teenage-pregnancies. 160 vulnerable girls enrolled in 2016 have been motivated to stay in school due to door-to-door campaigns, follow up and support provided to them. 150 out of 160 girls have remained in school last year, with a 96% attendance record.
In addition, the project paid the registration fees for 732 orphaned and vulnerable girls; purchased and distributed school kits (notebooks, textbooks, pens, pencils and rulers) to 840 of the vulnerable girls in the three participating secondary schools. This was an effort to facilitate and ensure that the vulnerable girls enrolled stay in school and complete their secondary school studies.
Girls Bridge Education program in India
More than 2 million girls In India are Out of school while 53% of girls between the age group of 5-9 are illiterate. The same age group is noted to have a drop-out rate of 58%. India loses a staggering $56 billion USD a year in potential earnings because of illiteracy among young women and Haryana is the worst hit where Female Literacy Rate has dropped from 59.61% in 2001 to 56.91% in 2011.
Humana People to People India has established two Girls’ Bridge Education Centres in Rajasthan and Haryana with an aim to educate out of school girls of 9 to 14 years age group and enroll them in the main stream education. The Bridge Education Centres are designed to administer practical knowledge among girls with a close relationship to their lives and social set-up.
The three thrust areas of the program are: to educate out of school girls, mitigate gender disparity, prevent drop outs and provide skills training; secondly to provide grade appropriate education to girls and integrate them with mainstream education and thirdly provide In-service-teacher training to ensure multi grade, first generation girl learners are educated and to mobilize the community and parents to ensure girls stay in school.
The project aims to improve learning outcome of about 8000 girls from grade I to VIII each year along with empowering and elevating the quality of 245 teachers in its 3 year project term. Administering and assisting government’s efforts to provide quality education, Humana People to People India’s program dove tails with local education system and nurtures all the critical stakeholders of the education system: the school, the teachers, the students, the community and the state government.
Empowering Young Women and Girls
According to the South African government statistics, in 2015 an estimated 266 000 South Africans became infected with HIV, and each week, there are an estimated 2 000 new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women aged 15 to 24 years.
“In South Africa, young women and girls aged between 15 and 24 have an unequal risk of becoming infected with HIV. Intergenerational sex is seen as a key driver of the spread of HIV in the country, despite continued efforts and commitment to preventing new infections. Effectively preventing new infections in young women and girls is very complex.
Programmes holistically targeting gender-power disparity, low levels of risk perception, peer pressure to have sex and bear children, and low levels of self-esteem and future prospects must be considered when programming, in addition to the traditional prevention messaging for this key population. Reducing HIV incidence in young women and girls requires a multi-pronged, multi-level approach.” - South Africa National AIDS Council.
Humana People to People South Africa is currently running a Young Women and Girls Program (YWG) across 3 provinces; Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga. The program provides a comprehensive package of health and support services for young women, out of school, aged 19-24 years.
Using the RISE Young Women and Soul Buddyz clubs model, the programme aims to empower young women to make healthy choices that promote their wellbeing, promote behaviour change, and encourage them to access Sexual and Reproductive Health services and other relevant social services. The programme also seeks to improve the work-seeker readiness of young women in the programme and link them to job or training opportunities.
Until to date Humana People to People South Africa have been able to reach 218 young women through Rise Young Women and Girls Clubs.
Humana People to People has come to note that, though access to quality education and women’s empowerment is crucial to achieving equity, it cannot stand alone. The world need to continue to work more to break down the societal barriers of discrimination and oppression of women that have existed since the beginning of time. Only then will we be able to achieve true equity in education for men and women across the globe.
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