The Role of Education in Empowering African Girls and Women

The Role of Education in Empowering African Girls and Women

A UN Women report shows most African governments are committed to gender equality promotion. Nearly every African country is focused on eliminating all types of gender discrimination. There are many strategies for empowering women on this continent. Among the top methods is education.

Enrolling more women in schools helps change societyโ€™s perception of them. They are empowered to make choices about their lives. Nations across the continent get more human capital as more women graduate. For the last two decades, the UN has been using more resources to promote womenโ€™s education. The organization views it as a major solution to having a continent with empowered women.

The Role of Education in Empowering African Girls and Women
Three african students female posed with backpacks and school items on yard of university. Image by ASphotofamily on Freepik

Changing stereotypes about women through education

Many African societies have refused to educate girls due to traditional norms. Based on old cultures, the roles of women were to keep homes and bring up children. Lately, this view has changed. A report by UNESCO shows the rate in 1990 was at 0.83%. In 2020, it had increased to 0.96%. A report by the World Bank shows enrollment in West and Central Africa will grow from 42% in 2023 to 57% in 2030.

This increase shows education is playing a major role in eliminating stereotypes. Society today can see the benefits education brings to women. They are leaving the negative notions and enrolling more girls in schools. When more women join schools, they have a positive impact on society. They can work as a team to help them succeed in education. They may collaborate to brainstorm ideas for writing essays or a research paper. Some may use an essay writer to get their work done fast. The papers they write are important for promoting gender equality. The student receives essays written by experts which helps them get higher scores. Education is helping break stereotypes in a wide variety of ways.ย 

Developing a changed attitude

Education is helping shape a positive attitude in both boys and girls. They are taught that all genders are important. Boys find themselves competing with girls to achieve higher performance. Educated males have a different attitude toward female education.ย 

Eliminating early marriages

Some communities in Africa promote early marriages in women. The situation gets worse if girls fail to attend school. A report by Girls Not Brides shows the more girls stay in school, the less they are likely to get married early. The Girls Not Brides organization started a program in East Africa to help girls stay longer in schools.ย 

When they were starting, the organization found that a lot of girls were getting married before hitting 18 years old. Today, the numbers have significantly reduced. Based on their statistics, the number stands at 23% in Kenya. Records for Tanzania and Uganda stand at 31% and 34% respectively.

Integration of gender equality programs in education

The World Bank runs several programs that ensure gender equality gets integrated into education systems in Africa. The programs aim to eliminate gender stereotypes on the continent. Some of the major beneficiaries of the projects are the Central African Republic and Chad.ย 

The program uses a strategy where educational resources include gender education. The organization works with women who act as role models for the girls. The EU runs an education integration program in South Africa. The program is run together with the VVOB organization. It seeks to promote the rights of girls to access good quality education.ย 

Minimizing sexual violence against women

An EFA Global Monitoring report shows a lot of girls drop out of school due to pregnancy. The report shows in South Africa alone, more than 60,000 girls get pregnant annually. Sexual violence is a major challenge in the country. This type of violence limits the capabilities of girls to join schools. This organization works with pregnant girls to help them return to school.ย 

They take the girls through counseling to help them overcome rejection. This approach helps them complete their education and become empowered. The organization also teaches boys in school not to be violent against women. In the end, they help a generation that respects women and girls.ย 

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Pushing for the creation of policies

In many African societies, roles are defined based on gender. There are roles for both males and females. These role-based responsibilities have an impact on how society views women. This narrative can be changed by creating women-friendly policies. These policies can help schools handle girlsโ€™ empowerment better.ย 

Schools can use these policies to shift perceptions and norms against girls. They help educational institutions to engage both girls and boys to understand gender equality. Strong policies are important when women need to make informed decisions about their sexual and health reproductive rights.ย 

They help protect them against gender violence and norms. Education helps women to be knowledgeable about their rights. Some of them work in influential places. Due to this, they help create policies that empower women fast. The policies can be applied in employment, business, politics, and many other places.ย 

Preparing women for career

Educating women influences the career choices they make. Many schools run education and career guidance programs. When they join higher education, they specialize in specific skills. This allows them to pursue specific career paths. Data from the World Bank shows due to education, the number of females in careers in North Africa has grown to 18.8%. The following statistics by the World Bank show how education has helped empower women in Africa.ย 

  • Working women in Ethiopia stand at 29% and 24% in Niger.ย 
  • The percentage of career women in Nigeria is 37%.ย 
  • Educated women in business stand at 25.9% in sub-Saharan Africa (African Development Bank report)
  • As of 2020, the number of women joining schools in Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 75% (UNESCO statistics).

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Conclusion

Governments, organizations, and individuals recognize education as an effective tool for empowering people. This is especially important for girls and women in Africa. It is a continent where women are defined based on their roles at home. Many organizations run programs that span from North Africa to South Africa. They aim to help girls stay in school and complete higher education. The programs have produced fruit that is removing the obstacles. The African woman of today is more empowered.ย 

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