Dear Girls Ed Supporters,
We are happy to join millions around the world to acknowledge and celebrate International Women's Day, which is March 8th. Communities everywhere will be honoring women in various ways - dance, song, flowers, gifts, music, poetry, food and more!
What we have to celebrate is you! Thank You for supporting us as we stay true to our mission to support girls in Pakistan, Tanzania and Liberia as they pursue their educational goals.
We also celebrate our students for their efforts to stay in school and do their best, despite the many obstacles they face - lack of books, distance to school, hunger, housework, and resistance from some community members.
This year's theme for International Women's Day is Pledge for Parity! Shockingly, the World Economic Forum has predicted that the gender gap will not be closed until 2133. That seems unfathomable, as it's over 100 years away - well beyond our lifetimes. Nonetheless, this year - to celebrate International Women's Day - let us all recognize the goal of gender equality and do what we can to close the gender gap in education, politics, business, and access to healthcare. Even if change comes at a 'glacial pace' - we do our part. (Read more about International Women's Day here.)
One mission toward that end is to ensure that more and more girls have equal access to quality education. For our March update, we're happy to share with you an interview with our student Adija. Her points below speak directly to the disparity between boys and girls when it comes to access to education. As we often hear from our girl students, the responsibilities of the girl child in Tanzania are greater than those of the boy - they clean, fetch water, help with siblings, cook, and more. All of this interferes with study time and the ability to simply focus on being successful in school.
But enough from us - let's hear it in Adija's own words:
How are you doing in school? What do you do outside of school to make sure you get good grades? After ring the bell, l am enter to the assembly. After assembly, I enter in the class. If teacher is not in the class, I am taking my exercise book and I am starting to study. If teacher is enter, I stop to study. When I come from school I arrive home. I am eating; after finish I help my parent with some activities, then I play 30 minutes and I continue to study. When I finish, I am taking food, then I am going to sleep. I wake up 5:00 o’clock to study again up to the morning, then I am going to school.
Do you like school? Yes, because it is a key of my life and I like to study hard in order to get a job like nurse, teacher, or traffic police officer.
Do you think studying as a girl is different from studying as a boy? Why? Yes, because the boy does not work a lot like the girl. The girl is working many more jobs than the boy, like to wash tools, to cook, to clean house, to carry water. The boy 100% they don’t do that job.
What advice would you give to a girl who wants to quit school? I will tell that girl it is better to study in order to get a job. It is bad to go around to the street; some time we got a problem. If you study well you must enjoy the life like Anna Makinda, but if you don’t study the people must see your ignorance.
What would you like to do after secondary school? I like to continue my education. After complete my high education, I want to be a nurse or teacher or work in parliament like Anna Makinda.
We love Adija's hopefulness and ambition. She is inspired by sister Tanzanian, Anna Makinda who was the first female Speaker of the National Assembly in the Tanzanian government. We always tell our students - Aim high! Try hard! Anything is possible if you just believe.
If you believe it, too, then please consider chipping in so that we can continue to support the girls in our program! (Click 'give now' below.) Now that the government has alleviated secondary school fees, we are finally able to invest our support where it is truly needed the most - tutoring, textbooks, and test prep. Let's get these girls into high school first, and then university! We believe.
You can also help by sharing our updates and mentioning our work to friends. Sharing is caring. (FB and Twitter buttons below make sharing easy!)
With immense gratitude,
The Girls Ed Team & the Girls Ed students
Anna Makinda - Speaker of National Assembly