Girls’ Education: International Day of the Girl highlight

JulietEducation in KenyaLeave a Comment

International Day of the Girl
Promoting Girls' Education- Day of the Girl

Promoting Girls’ Education- Day of the Girl

Day of the Girl has been observed on 11 October since 2012. This day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. the 2018 theme is ‘With Her: A Skilled GirlForce’. Hence our highlight of organizations that do great things to keep girls in school.

Educating a girl means that as a woman, she is empowered and more likely to participate in development efforts and in political and economic decision-making. Before we look at organizations contributing to girls’ education, let’s look at the statistics about girl child education in Africa. Girls’ enrolment to secondary school remains lower than that of boys, with a Gender Parity Index (GPI) of 0.97. The gap is significant in countries such as Angola(22% for boys/20% for girls), Eritrea (30%/20%), Ethiopia (30%/23%), Malawi (25%/23%), Somalia (9%/5%), and Zambia (38%/35%).

The girl of today’s generation is preparing to enter a world of work that is being transformed by innovation and automation. Educated and skilled workers are in great demand. Roughly a quarter of young people – most of them female – are currently neither employed or in education or training. Poverty is the main factor undermining girls’ right to education. School fees and additional costs such as transport, clothing, and books reinforce the gender gap. When poor families cannot afford to educate all their children, it is often their daughters who have to stay home until they get married. It is under this premise that we highlight the following organizations contribute to the girl child education on this International Day of the Girl.

Plan International

Child marriage is a violation of girls’ fundamental human rights to health, education and a life free from abuse. The practice robs girls of their opportunity to realize their full potential. Plan International runs different programs globally, fighting the vice of child marriage, hence enabling girls to stay in school.


Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) is a grassroots movement that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services for all, community advocacy platforms, and education and leadership development for women and girls. Started in 2004 by Kenedy Odede and Jessica Posner Odede, SH run several development projects, among them being the Kibera School for Girls. SHOFCO recently received the 2018 Hilton Humanitarian Award.

Akili Dada

Akili Dada provides comprehensive high school scholarships to girls aged 13-19 years and seed funding for social change initiatives led by young women aged 18-35 years. They provide leadership development, mentorship, and skills development for young women and girls.


ZanaAfrica Foundation supports adolescent girls in Kenya to stay in school by delivering reproductive health education and sanitary pads.  Lack of Menstrual hygiene products has been directly linked to a high risk of sexual activity at a young age. In fact, 10% of all transactional sex among adolescent girls in Kenya is for sanitary pads. Two in three girls in Kenya lack access to sanitary pads and reproductive health education and 60% of the girls drop out of secondary school. Their social impact business arm, Zana Africa Group manufactures and distributes the low-cost Nia sanitary pads to ensure girls stay in school.


World University Service of Canada (WUSC), along with Windle Trust Kenya (WTK), is running a program to help marginalized girls and boys in northern Kenya. They are improving the access to and quality of education in four target communities; the Dadaab refugee camps and surrounding host communities of Fafi, Waji South and Dadaab, and the Kakuma refugee camps and their surrounding host communities in Turkana West. WUSC is building girl-friendly school environments; providing targeted support to female learners; and parent and community support for girls’ education.

Eneza Education

International Day of the Girl would not be complete without highlighting the work we do in removing the literacy barrier. We provide quality education through simple mobile phones. We have partnered with organizations that provide education to girls. Our SMS/USSD Mobile Learning platform is easily accessible because of its simplicity. Reaching over 5 Million learners in three countries; Kenya, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Our goal is making Africa Smarter through mobile phones. You can learn on the platform by dialing *291# from any Safaricom phone for only two Kenya shillings a day.

About the Author

Juliet Otieno is the Communications Associate at Eneza Education. She has a journalism and Public Relations background, blogs mostly about the girl child and women, loves good books and sings privately, daydreams a lot and plays with words.

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