- Around the world there are 34 million adolescent girls out of school
- In sub-Saharan Africa, 64% of girls are out of school
- Girls’ Choices supports teenage girls to complete secondary school and transition to university, further education or professional work
GWI is working with Orange Device Group to develop a mobile app that empowers girls to access information that will inspire them to complete school and transition to tertiary education or professional work. The app will provide immediate, easy access to material empowering girls to explore possibilities in their lives beyond traditionally limiting boundaries. The app is initially being developed with teenage girls in Rwanda, with the scope for replicability in other countries. Press release.
GWI’s Girls’ Choices project supports girls to complete secondary school and transition to tertiary education or professional work. Through workshops and mentoring girls build their confidence and develop skills in leadership, career development and self-determination. Mentoring provides continued support for girls in the programme to pursue their goals. To expand the reach of GWI’s Girls’ Choices project, GWI is developing a mobile app in partnership with Orange Device Group.
Completion of secondary and continuing education for girls is vital to support gender equality and to provide women and girls with necessary skills for work and continuing education. However, significant barriers to girls’ completion of education, particularly at secondary level, are hindering progress. Lack of self-confidence has been identified as a major barrier to girls’ education, as well as early marriage, teenage pregnancy, gender stereotypes, cultural prejudice, and responsibility for domestic duties and caregiving. Girls Choices’ empowers girls with knowledge and skills to address barriers to complete their secondary education and transition to university, college or work.
Barriers to Girls’ Education
Education is a human right. Gender inequalities and disparities continue to prevent girls from completing their education, hindering their progress, and the economic and social progress of their country. Empowering girls to complete secondary school and continue their education and professional development creates the opportunity for them to achieve their ambitions and drive progress in their community and country. While the ratio of girls to boys enrolled in school has risen, major gaps remain, particularly at secondary and tertiary levels. For example, in Africa and South Asia boys remain 1.55 times more likely to complete secondary education than girls. Complementary programmes to enable girls to overcome barriers to their education are critical to achieving gender equality in education and society.
Developing Girls’ Choices
Girls’ Choices offers teenage girls a programme of workshops and mentoring around topics that will support them to complete school. Workshops and mentoring is led by GWI members in-country who are champions for girls’ education and provide inspiring role models. The project takes place over 6 months with workshops on public speaking, career development, leadership, gender stereotypes and human rights. Alongside this the girls receive mentoring and are encouraged to set up girls’ groups to continue to develop and work towards their goals. Girls’ Choices provides teenage girls with the space and encouragement needed to explore the possibilities for their future beyond gender stereotypes, creating opportunities for themselves and future generations.
Girls’ Choices is currently running in Kenya and Ghana and will be expanded to other GWI member countries. A GWI independent member, Everlyn Oluoch, has been successfully running the Girls’ Choices workshops in Kenya.