Sunday, 22 September 2013

Innovating for Girls Education

The fulfillment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and it is morally imperative. There is overwhelming evidence that girls’ education is a powerful transformative force for societies and for girls themselves. While there has been a significant progress in improving girls’ access to education over the last two decades, many girls continue to be deprived of this basic right.

 Girls in many parts of Malawi are still unable to attend school and complete their studies due to cultural, financial constraints. When girls are in school the perceived low returns from poor quality of education, low aspirations or household chores and other responsibilities keep them from attending school or from achieving adequate learning outcomes.

Innovation can be an important strategy in addressing the nature and scale of barriers that girls face. There is need to ensure that they get formal academic education that is appropriate and commensurate with the challenges of the 21st century.
 Smart and creative use of technology is one route to overcoming gender barriers to girls’ learning and fulfillment of their goals. Innovation in partnerships, policies, resource utilization, community mobilization, and most of all, the engagement of young people themselves could be the most important catalyzing forces.

 International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations in 2011 and celebrated annually on 11 October. In recognition of the importance of fresh and creative perspectives to propel girls’ education forward. The theme for this year’s Day of the Girl Child is: Innovating for Girls’ Education.

Protecting Women’s Rights.

Women are entitled to an equal footing of human rights and to be given protection from all forms of abuse and violence in Political, economic, social and in all spheres of life in the society. In spite of such compulsions which the society has, women are still being abused and their rights are being violated each and every day. Hardly a day passes without news of a tear-jerking story of an abused woman.

 It seems women are not safe and that the mechanisms that are supposed to ensure the provision and protection of their rights have been entirely compromised. Violation of their rights is almost everywhere starting from their own homes to their work places. Sexual harassment in their work places which is sometimes perpetrated by their superiors and as a way of keeping up their jobs, women fall prey to promiscuous rascals.

 Women do not even find solace in their homes as their husbands treat them not as spouses but as sex objects, slaves and many other humiliating treatments you may think of.

The unanswered question is: why are women regarded as people who cannot contribute to the development of their respective communities?  People should not forget that both women and men are all human beings and they both deserve their inalienable rights. Violence against women is a crime and must be treated as such regardless of who has perpetrated it or where it has occurred. Such considerations are very unimportant.

YONECO is one of the organizations that are on the fore front working tirelessly to protect the rights of women. In this task, YONECO works hand in hand with institutions that ensure that laws are upheld and enforced.  In this regard, whenever a woman has been abused, the organisation provides transport to the law enforcers whenever they have no transport to discharge their duties. This is done to make sure that the perpetrators are not just left scot free but that they should face the law and serve as an example to others.
My plea to other organizations and various stakeholders is that they should not just hold workshops, publish books and be in the media and talk about Gender Based Violence,   they should also get involved in doing the actual tasks  of protecting women’s in the community where the violations are taking place.