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I have a right to Education

Education is the best tool to give and have. But there are millions of women and girls out there who wish to have it but the chances are so less that I don’t want to count. Majority of the girls within communities are denied an opportunity to education due to cultural and traditional belief and practices.

Culture has taught us that a women place is in the kitchen that families should invest on educating a boy child! From where I come from, girls are expected to take care of the household as a form of training preparing them to wed. Well, there were families who would against odds send their children to school. There has always been inequality and lack of respect for Girls, and looking at the current situation now, that inequality and lack of belief and respect for women, is still an issue.

There are some underlying factors that challenged young women and girls to access education: Lack of resources/ Infrastructures, there’s still a need for schools to be built in rural area, as few that are available exposes girls in danger of being physically violated, exposes them to the risk of being victims of Child trafficking and forced marriages as they had to walk quite a distance to get to school. I remember from my own experience whist living in the farms, that one day I even had to miss exams, it was in winter and I felt so cold that my feet could not take it anymore! The time I got to school it was all over.

Lack of education amongst girls, has led us up do date on continuous discussions on how it could be turned around. Because of poverty, girls are forced into early and arranged marriages, which because they have little or no understanding of the their rights and how to stand for themselves, they end up being in abusive and uncomfortable environments, their health is put on jeopardy as they fall victims of HIV/AIDS because they stand for themselves and say No! Some girls migrated, and while some got fortunate, some didn’t and are been used as Sex workers, drug dealers or domestic workers and even underpaid.

A decision was made where everyone had to take part in facilitating an environment where community and other community based programmes provide supplementary education interventions that impact positively on school retention levels, which included

• Advocating for an environment that will enable those in authority or power to be accountable for children’s rights.
• Strengthening families to cope with situations that cause vulnerability, e.g. poverty and diseases.
• Strengthening communities to be responsive to issues of children and youth living in vulnerable conditions.
• Ensuring that government, duty bearers and other critical stakeholders are accountable for the rights of children and youth living in conditions leading to vulnerability.
• Ensuring that the children and young people participate in decision making processes regarding their wellbeing and rights
• Documenting successful models of care.
• Advocating for an environment that will enable those in authority or power to be accountable for children’s rights.
• Facilitating the identification and nurturing of children’s talents.
• Facilitating and ensuring that communities establish child safety strategies and forums.
• Facilitate the design and implementation of systems where perpetrators of child abuse and exploitation are held accountable for their actions.

Being part of these throughout the process and witnessing the difference it has made, not only to the lives of others, but mine as well. I should be working and in progress with so many things at my age, but it was not an easy journey to this point. Education opens all doors and I bear witness to that.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »

Comments

smothyz's picture

keep up!

i am proud of you.

On that note, i am glad that the communities in your area are getting involved and wanting to see education given a priority agenda. i think that ought to be a solution for all communities in the world, that if we all regarded each other as human beings and new the importance of education, i would take the initiative to ask my neighbour why her children are not in school like all others.

in my community, there is a saying that goes, 'a child is raised by the community'. if only we actually turned this into actions.

Blessings.
Claudia.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only LOVE can do that. -Martin Luther King Jnr.

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