Around the world, 743 million girls were pushed out of school as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. School closures due to COVID-19 have exacerbated gender inequalities, especially for the poorest women and girls. Since the beginning of the crisis, GWI has expressed concerns about the probable and pervasive gendered impacts of the pandemic on girl’s education. Education is a powerful path to gender equality, strengthening girls’ skills, knowledge and power to challenge discriminatory gender norms.
Girls Education for Brighter Futures supporters help to fund the GWI Bina Roy Partners in Development (BRPID) programme. BRPID supports locally-developed and operated projects to empower women and girls through education and leadership development. The current projects focus on educating girls about recycling to combat environmental pollution (Ghana), empowering girls through education and income generating activities (Nepal), and training girls, parents, and teachers in the making of reusable sanitary pads (Uganda). To carry out these projects, GWI has partnered with Ghana Association of University Women (GAUW), Nepal Association of University Women (NAUW) and Association of University Women Uganda LTD.
In Ghana, at least 20%-30% of waste ends up in the water bodies, soil, and on the streets. However, recycling through the re-use of materials (particularly plastic), is shown to have a positive impact on environmental sustainability. The GWI project in Ghana will help girls to receive an education about environmental pollution and recycling plastic waste through workshops. Girls will put their knowledge to practice by collecting plastic waste to make flower pots and other basic building construction. Upon completion, the girls will be given the opportunity to sell their handiwork, providing them with a source of income.
In Nepal many girls marry early at 14-16 years old and have children at a young age. Therefore, most of these girls do not have the opportunity to complete their education. Teaching these women to read and write in the Nepali language will help them to be economically empowered through income generating activities, using the skills acquired in the training. This GWI project in Nepal is expected to benefit 40 illiterate women.
In Uganda, poverty rates are high in rural areas and many girls lack education in menstrual hygiene. As a result, girls do not attend school especially on the days when they have their periods and some girls drop out of school completely to get married. The aim of this project in Uganda is to increase girls’ retention in school, while training the community to acquire skills in making reusable sanitary pads. This will create a source of income and an improvement in the menstrual hygiene of young girls and women. This project is expected to benefit students, parents, teachers, and the community at large.
Graduate Women International (GWI) continues working tirelessly to coordinate and manage advocacy projects and initiatives on local, national and international levels. We need your help too. The generous donations to the GWI Girls’ Education for Brighter Futures contributes to supporting these projects. Contributions of any amount have made meaningful, positive impacts on the lives of women and girls around the world. Please reach out to anyone you know and invite them to donate as well. Your contributions matter, and we are sincerely grateful.
Take a stand with GWI to advocate for women and girls’ right to an education. Donations to the Girls Education for Brighter Futures programme can be made HERE.