Empowering African Girls Through Education: Breaking Barriers, Shaping Futures

Despite the fact that humankind has progressed a lot over the centuries, we still haven’t come far enough for education to be universal. A lot of children grow up without receiving any form of education which prevents them from having a high quality of life.

This is the case for many African girls. They face numerous challenges that prevent them from receiving education. Nevertheless, there are some initiatives that are helping to break barriers and shape futures.

The Challenges African Girls Are Facing

The challenges faced by African girls are numerous and seemingly unending. Some of the things they experience include:

  • Systemic Poverty – A lot of African countries have systemic issues that negatively affect their respective economies. This keeps the people living there poor consistently, often without any hope of getting out of poverty. A lot of African girls don’t have any kind of financial capital which prevents them from advancing socially.
  • Lack of Family and Community Support – Unfortunately, one of the main challenges African girls have to deal with quite often is the lack of family and community support. Their parents often suffered from the same problems that it is now their turn to encounter. They simply don’t have the means to support their daughters, and their communities are not of much help either.
  • Adverse Social Attitudes – Not every African man has received education, and when it comes to girls, education is even further from being real. Girls aren’t perceived as someone who must receive education but rather someone who must become a mother and raise kids.
  • Lack of Voice – This point is directly connected to the previous one. Because of the social attitudes in many African countries, teenage and adolescent girls lack their own voices. They can’t voice their frustrations, and even if they do, not many people will genuinely pay attention.
  • Limited Educational Opportunities – In many African countries, educational systems are still underdeveloped. Not everyone is able to receive education from the institutions that have been created already which limits the educational opportunities citizens would have had otherwise.

    Video content (BBC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8KuQkNtVuE

African girls are often constrained both socially and economically. They suffer from risky sexual practices that they are often forced into against their will. These, in turn, lead to detrimental long-term effects on their health and reproductive systems. A lot of these girls are simply unable to properly manage the physical and psychological changes that happen during their teenage years. Child marriage is still extremely common.

One of the reasons why a lot of African girls are helpless in their situations is that they lack the skills, resources, and even motivation to improve their independence and self-reliance. They can’t pursue their dreams and aspirations because they simply don’t have the means to do so. The cycle ends up repeating itself again and again.

Not enough initiatives exist that are meant to help teenage and adolescent African girls specifically. This is why it is so important to empower them with whatever initiatives there are and look for ways to make education more accessible in Africa. There are some initiatives already, but they aren’t enough to help everyone.

By initiating change from an early age, African girls can grow up to be more capable, independent, and self-reliant individuals who will have successful and fulfilling careers. Moreover, they will be able to initiate change in their countries from within by supporting other girls, reforming the system, and so on.

The Solutions That Are Changing the Status Quo

Independently, African girls don’t have many ways they can improve their situation. If they have access to the Internet, they might be able to access free learning resources or even get academic help from the professional writing service Trust My Paper. And yet, a lot of them don’t have even such limited opportunities which is why initiatives to provide education to African girls are so important. Here are some notable examples of such solutions:

  • AGE Africa’s CHATS Program – CHATS stands for Creating Healthy Approaches to Success. It is a program helping girls in Malawi by organizing so-called “girls’ clubs” in partner schools. The program lasts three years and students are taught on a weekly basis with classes being held after school hours. Girls learn essential life skills as well as receive support with their education. The program is organized by AGE Africa and supported by the Malawi Ministry of Education and local schools. The program aims to prepare girls for self-employment or employment in the local market. Educators help their students increase their self-esteem, become more assertive, and master conflict-resolution skills. After completing the program, girls understand their health and sexuality better and are aware of their legal rights. Among the subjects and topics taught are:
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Leadership training, career guidance, and self-advocacy
    • Gender-based violence awareness and prevention
    • Entrepreneurship and problem-solving
  • AGCCI – AGCCI is the African Girls Can Code Initiative which was created by the UN Women and the African Union Commission (AUC), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). It is a regional initiative funded by Belgium and is currently helping girls in Burundi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, and Tanzania. AGCCI is a coding camp where girls aged 17-25 are able to learn valuable skills and knowledge in the fields of information, communication, and technology or ICT as well as education and coding. Girls who complete the program are able to become more competitive specialists and find better jobs in the science and tech sectors. These girls become women who are more empowered to push back against violence, harassment, and repression among other things while enacting change in their countries. Even girls with disabilities are able to participate which helps them find jobs in a sector where disabled women are underrepresented.

These are just two examples of initiatives that have been successful, but there are many more that have proven that African girls should be supported in their pursuit of education and better opportunities. By helping these girls from a young age, it is possible to give them the means to become independent and self-reliant women once they grow up.

There are still many challenges preventing these teenage and adolescent girls from receiving education, but they can be successfully tackled over time with enough persistence and the implementation of necessary measures. Some of the goals educators need to strive for include:

  • Shifting the norms and values in local societies that are preventing girls from receiving proper education.
  • Making schools a safer environment for young girls and aiming to reduce child marriage rates.
  • Supporting young women during their transition from education to the labor market.
  • Providing the necessary means and resources that will enable young girls and women to get better opportunities and change their lives in the long term.

Final Thoughts

Everyone deserves to receive proper education, no matter who they are or where they come from. This is why providing good education to African girls is so important. It gives them an opportunity to have a better future and live a happier and more fulfilling life.

Unfortunately, there are many challenges that African girls face that could prevent them from receiving education. Nevertheless, many initiatives are already helping to break barriers and shape futures.

Cynthia Young is an academic writer with a wondrous love for writing and sociology. She starts her day by reading her favorite magazine and ends up writing her own article. In her spare time Cynthia writes articles for various reputable blogs. Cynthia is currently Best Essays Education blog editor.

Scroll to Top