When girl children are educated, they develop the skills and confidence to help lift their families out of poverty and build strong communities for generations to come.
Every child has the right to a safe, formal, quality education and access to lifelong learning. However, due to a combination of factors, many girls are forced to leave school while others never have the opportunity to go in the first place.
Learning To Lead
School is a space in which girls exercise their agency, make their voices heard, and access their first leadership opportunities.
Being out of school doesn’t just have devastating consequences for girls’ life opportunities – it places them at risk of teen pregnancy, child marriage, female genital mutilation, and other forms of gender-based violence.
Education is critical in tackling harmful gender norms and empowering girls to drive change. It gives girls the skills to become leaders, innovators, and change-makers, and to tackle future crises.
We aim to provide millions of girls across the world with safe, quality, gender-transformative education so they may find their voices and learn to lead. We work to ensure that girls realize they are equally deserving of the skills required to succeed.
We focus our efforts on equality, inclusion, and diversity. Our programs don’t just work in classrooms with teachers but also include communities, government authorities, religious leaders, family members, and children in order to bring an end to gender inequality in education
Girl Power Starts With Education, Girls Rights are Human Rights. And the right to education is a human right.
Investing in girls’ education transforms communities, countries, and the entire world. Girls who receive an education are less likely to marry young and more likely to lead healthy, productive lives. They earn higher incomes, participate in the decisions that most affect them, and build better futures for themselves and their families.
Girls’ education strengthens economies and reduces inequality. It contributes to more stable, resilient societies that give all individuals – including boys and men – the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
But education for girls is about more than access to school. It’s also about girls feeling safe in classrooms and supported in the subjects and careers they choose to pursue – including those in which they are often under-represented.
Gender Equality in Education
Gender-equitable education systems empower girls and boys and promote the development of life skills – like self-management, communication, negotiation, and critical thinking – that young people need to succeed. They close skills gaps that perpetuate pay gaps and build prosperity for entire countries.
There are many barriers that girls face in accessing education.
- Costs – Poverty is an important factor in whether a girl will go to school. Uniforms, fees, books, and transportation. They all add up.
- Gender Bias – Long-held misconceptions mean families often focus on the education of male children over females. Considered future breadwinners for families, sons will most often complete their schooling.
- Menstruation – A lack of running water in a school. A lack of separate bathrooms. The lack of resources to secure period products. These factors can and do lead to girls leaving school when they begin to menstruate.
- Household chores – In families where child care isn’t affordable or attainable, girls may miss, or altogether leave school to help with younger siblings. When both parents work, household chores may fall to the girls in the family.
CADEF’s Work To Promote Girls’ Education
CADEF works with community leaders, Government Authorities, and partners to remove barriers to girls’ education and promote gender equality in education – even in hard-to-reach communities.
Because investing in girls’ secondary education is one of the most transformative development strategies, we prioritize efforts that enable all girls to complete secondary education and develop the knowledge and skills they need for life and work.
This will only be achieved when the most disadvantaged girls are supported to enter and complete pre-primary and primary education. Our work:
- Fight against discriminatory gender norms and harmful practices that deny girls access to school and quality learning.
- Addresses obstacles, like distance-related barriers to education, re-entry policies for young mothers, and menstrual hygiene management in schools.
- Promotes social protection measures, including cash transfers, to improve girls’ transition to and retention in secondary school.