LNGB, bold move to empower girl child 

Source: LNGB, bold move to empower girl child – DailyNews Live

STAFF WRITER      17 November 2018

HARARE – Thousands of girls’ prospects are severely limited because they
cannot finish school. According to the United Nations, some 33 million
children in sub-Saharan Africa were out of school.

While statistics for Zimbabwe are not immediately available, pervasive
poverty and persistent cultural attitudes, including forced early
marriages and child labour, continue to be the main obstacles to girls’
education in Zimbabwe. Other obstacles include the cost of education,
child prostitution, early pregnancies and long distances to schools.

But poverty lies at the heart of many of the challenges that hinder girls’
access to education. The pressures of poverty mean that parents must
constantly make decisions about how to utilise extremely limited resources
and how best to provide a secure future for their family.

Poor families, mostly in rural areas, are forced to send boys to school
while keeping the girls at home helping with chores in the belief that
chores are sufficient lessons for girls to learn how to keep a family.

Even as more girls are enrolled in primary schools, their chances of
dropping out continue to be greater than boys’. Girls may be withdrawn
from school by parents for reasons linked not only to costs but to
unwanted pregnancies from rape.

That is why the drive launched by the British Embassy in Harare to keep
girls in schools is a timely intervention.

The embassy has partnered with Plan International in launching the “Leave
No Girl Behind (LNGB)” programme which is set to benefit over 21 000 girls
in marginalised communities around the country.

According to the embassy, the Leave No Girl Behind programme will enable
the most marginalised girls to continue their schooling and transition on
to secondary education.

The programme will target 21 780 hard-to-reach girls aged between 10 and
19 years old, up to 6 percent of whom are living with disabilities.

This drive, which will no doubt increase enrolments and narrow the gender
gap, is a welcome intervention. We definitely need more girls to enrol in
secondary school.

As they say, educate a girl and you will change the world.

Educated girls grow into women who are empowered to care for themselves,
their families, and their communities. And indeed, when you invest in a
girl, the dividends are immeasurable.