Approximately 32 million primary age girls are out of school, according to UNESCO. Among them, 15 million are expected never to enroll. Access is not the only challenge girls are facing to complete their education. Girls need to be safe at school and on their way to school. And, they need to learn. But very often, girls who attend school are not finding an environment that fits their needs and do not receive quality education.
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Conflict and displacement have huge negative consequences on girls, especially because they are more at risk of abuse and exploitation, more likely to be out of school and often engaged in negative coping mechanisms like child marriage.
Save the children recognize that barriers to girls’ education exist at the level of individuals, households, communities, schools, and the educational system, depending on the context. We are therefore committed to improving the education and life opportunities of girls by targeting three specific areas of change:
- Gender-sensitive teachers and teaching: we improve teacher qualifications, teachers’ attitudes toward girls, and promote gender-sensitive teaching practices. To do so, we train teachers and provide them with continuous support, to improve their performance as well as their wellbeing.
- Safe and quality learning environments: we ensure safe, flexible, and quality learning environments for girls, especially in conflict and emergency settings. This includes protecting girls on the way to, from, and in school in order to free them from physical and sexual violence. We work with school management for schools to become girl-friendly and to develop codes of conduct and accountability mechanisms for keeping the school free from discrimination and gender-based violence; we advocate for gender-responsive education policies in order to guarantee girls’ needs inform education programs and interventions.
- Peer and community support: we mobilize boys, men, women and girls themselves to improve behaviours and practices toward girls. We work with communities, civil society and leaders to ensure that girls’ home and community environments are protective and supportive of girls’ education.
Quality education provides girls with the skills they need to actively participate in society, contribute to economic growth and improve well-being for themselves, their families and their communities.
Girls’ education will lead to create a more equitable world and reduce poverty.