Advocate for Girls Education

WISE believes that all girls should have access to quality education that not only includes standard academic knowledge but also life and leadership skills development that can prepare them to take control of their lives and make informed decisions. While WISE recognizes that education is not the only pathway to self-sufficiency, education does allow women and girls to see what opportunities are possible and gives them the basic skills to further develop their unique interests.

Benefits of Education

  • Education gives youth the basic knowledge and skills to lead their own lives and develop long-term solutions to problems.

  • Education allows youth to learn about the world and different cultures. This can help foster mindfulness and empathy for people/issues outside of their immediate identity.

  • Education has the ability to open up pathways for economic advancement and it can help youth navigate systems of oppression that can limit them from escaping cycles of poverty.

  • Education gives youth the basic knowledge and skills to lead their own lives and develop long-term solutions to problems.

  • Education allows youth to learn about the world and different cultures. This can help foster mindfulness and empathy for people/issues outside of their immediate identity.

  • Education has the ability to open up pathways for economic advancement and it can help youth navigate systems of oppression that can limit them from escaping cycles of poverty.

Source: inee.org

Sustainable Development Goal 4 logo

Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4

Ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

www.un.org

Barriers to Quality Education

Since the adoption of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 and the revision of these goals in 2015 — now known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — all of the United Nations (UN) members have made significant progress in increasing access to education for both boys and girls as pertaining to SDG 4 on quality education. However, even with this increase in girl’s school attendance, there are still additional barriers to quality education and quality school facilities that meet the reproductive needs of young women and girls.

  • Quantitative school data, such as enrollment rates and the number of schools, are measured to report access to education; however, these numbers give little insight into the quality of education.

  • How quality education is measured varies by country, region, city/town, and the resources available to them. Because of this, there are no exact requirements for measuring and reporting quality education. This means that quality education data is often not reported or inconsistent, making the data as a whole unreliable.

  • Some school facilities may lack private toilet facilities for women and girls, which is a major barrier for women and girls of Muslim background.

  • Women and girls are forced to miss school when they are menstruating if the schools lack the proper toilet facilities and menstruation products.

  • Some cultures prefer to send boys to school over girls. Girls will only be sent to school if the family is able to afford it.

  • Early marriage or child marriage is normalized in some cultures. If girls get married early or get pregnant early, this may interfere with their education.

What does this mean for immigrant and refugee women and girls?

  • Immigrants and refugees generally experience barriers to education because of language and cultural differences.

  • Schools might not be fully equipped to work with immigrants or refugees. Culturally appropriate resources may take time and money to generate, especially if there are several communities of different cultural/linguistic backgrounds.

  • There may be increased animosity between host country nationals and newly-arrived immigrants or refugees due to:

    • a [perceived] shortage of livelihood resources (food, shelter, jobs, money, etc.);

    • perceived racial, religious, linguistic, ethnic or other differences.

  • Even if refugees were to receive an education, this doesn’t guarantee them a well-paying job in their host country. This is because refugees will sometimes not be given citizenship because they are seen as temporary residents in the host country.

  • Displaced youth don’t have access to consistent education because they are constantly moving or there is not an educational facility where they have relocated.