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2011 International Women’s Day: Focus on Education and Training

boma-fund-photo2This year’s theme for International Women’s Day on March 8 is equal access for women to education, training and science and technology. Education and training are important components of Aid for Africa’s work. Although the poor and dispossessed youth throughout Sub-Saharan Africa lack education and training opportunities, African girls suffer disproportionately from low school enrollment and poor completion rates compared to boys. The reasons for the enrollment gap are complex, encompassing poverty, tradition, and a combination of both.  Marriage practices, the burden of disease, seasonal labor requirements, and certain religious practices all contribute to the problem. The end result of the complexity is simple: only one in four girls living in poverty in Africa attends school.

Many of Aid for Africa members are working to change this.  The Aid for Africa Girls Education Fund is working to increase the number of girls and young women who go to school and stay in school.  While many of our members help girls and boys go to school, a number of our members focus exclusively on getting girls and young women into school or training programs.  These members include The Boma Fund, the East African Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children, Growth Through Learning, and the Maasai Girls Education Fund.

Throughout March, in honor of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, Aid for Africa is proud to highlight some of the extraordinary women who are part of the Aid for Africa family through a series of blogs.