News / Africa

Report Highlights Education Barriers for Adolescent Girls

Two Indian girls react to the camera as they play on a street outside their roadside shanty, on International Day of the Girl Child in Hyderabad, India, Oct. 11, 2012.
Two Indian girls react to the camera as they play on a street outside their roadside shanty, on International Day of the Girl Child in Hyderabad, India, Oct. 11, 2012.
VOA News
A new report is drawing attention to the plight of under-educated girls as the U.N. marks International Day of the Girl Child on Thursday.

Plan International says while school enrollment levels for girls and boys have reached "global parity" at the primary school level, school completion rates for girls have lagged behind.

The child development organization says 39 million girls between the ages of 11 and 15 are out of school.

The Day of the Girl Campaign Says Girls Have Too Few Role Models

  • 3% of Fortune 500 companies' chief executive officers are women
  • 3% of top positions in entertainment, advertising, telecommunications are held by women
  • Out of the 100 U.S. Senators 17 are women
  • Out of the 435 lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives 90 are women
  • 6 U.S. states have female governors
Plan International CEO Nigel Chapman says a number of factors often prevent adolescent girls from remaining in school.

"As girls get older, they are more likely to be asked by their families to contribute economically, either through being part of the family business, working in the fields and so on. And that is, of course, a pull away from attending school every day," he said. "It is a short-sighted pull in many ways because it means, in the end, those girls don't have the skills they need to get the jobs they ought to have in the future."

He says the problem of adolescent girls not attending school is most acute in Africa.

Plan International says other problems that contribute to their drop in enrollment include early pregnancies and the cost of school supplies and uniforms.

  • A young Muslim girl walks with a copy of the holy Quran on International Day of the Girl Child in New Delhi, India, October 11, 2012.
  • A young Muslim girl adjusts her scarf as she descends the staircase of the Jama Masjid on International Day of the Girl Child in New Delhi, India, October 11, 2012.
  • An unidentified girl sells soft drinks at a bus park, on the first International Day of the Girl Child, in Lagos, Nigeria, October 11, 2012.
  • Yemeni girls attend school on the first International Day of the Girl Child, in Sanaa, Yemen, October 11, 2012.
  • Pakistani student Laiba Youssef, 6, center, listens to questions by her teacher, not pictured, while she and other girls attend English language class, at the EHD Foundation School, on the first International Day of the Girl Child, in Islamabad, Pakistan, October 11, 2012.
  • A Pakistani student writes on a blackboard attached to a wall, during a match class at the EHD Foundation School, on the first International Day of the Girl Child, in Islamabad, Pakistan, October 11, 2012.
Also, the group says some girls experience violence at school - a fact highlighted in Pakistan this week when an alleged Taliban gunman shot and gravely wounded a 14-year-old girl who had spoken out for the education of women.

During a Wednesday appearance marking "International Day of the Girl Child," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said limited education poses lifelong problems for women.

"Every year, 10 million girls under the age of 18 become child brides and many of them [are] under the age of 16, and many of those girls are forced into early marriage which robs them of the opportunity to continue their education and it threatens their health and it traps them in lives of poverty," she said.

In a report marking the International Day of the Girl Child, the U.N. called early marriages a "fundamental violation of human rights" that "impacts all aspects of a girl's life."

The world body noted that in Afghanistan, saying 46 percent of Afghan women were married before the age of 18, and more than 15 percent before age 15.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid