International Women’s Day was held on 8th March. This is an annual event to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while also turning the spotlight on to campaigns to encourage gender equality and stopping issues that prevent this from happening around the world. In our field of work, we see that girls are often disadvantaged when it comes to education for a whole host of reasons.
In Zimbabwe, the work of our local partner encourages education in families ravaged by HIV/AIDS. Many of these families will be child-headed, meaning that the eldest sibling – or often the eldest female sibling – is expected to take on the role of ‘mother’ to bring up her siblings and maintain the house. Mwana Trust’s team of support workers will ensure that these families are supported at home and that their school fees are paid so they can continue their education.
In Tanzania, our Youth Network Programme provides a vocational scheme to allow teenage girls to continue learning when low exam results mean this is not possible in mainstream schooling. Our instructors teach the girls a range of sewing skills – as well as basic mathematics, English and more advice on social issues – so that they are able to earn an income of their own when they are ready to enter a working environment.