MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
FORUM for Female Educationalists (FAWE) chairperson Christine Dranzoa says poverty is a major contributor to 52 percent of girls in sub-Sahara Africa being denied an education.
Professor Dranzoa also says 54 percent of the youth population in sub-Sahara Africa consists of girls.
Speaking in an interview, Prof Dranzoa said Africa is lagging behind other continents with girl child education due to various pressures and barriers which force girls not to be educated.
She said gender stereotypes and social cultural demands are contributing to the high school dropouts among girls.
She said high poverty levels, child headed homes and HIV and AIDS are also impacting negatively on the girls’ education.
Prof Dranzoa said the African Union should compel African governments to make education affordable for girls as it is a human right.
“It is FAWE’s dream to see every girl child and woman access education to enable females to exploit their potential to the maximum. This is done through advocacy, lobbying and awareness creation with our partners.
“The vision of FAWE will be kept alive for the next 100 years, it does not matter how long it takes, one day we shall get there through concerted efforts by various stakeholders,” she said.
Prof Dranzoa was in the country recently for a FAWE conference, which Zambia hosted for the first time, under the theme: ‘Towards gender equality in education in Africa, positioning the youth to champion Africa`s education’s agenda’.
The conference attracted more than 30 countries, which saw 500 delegates come together. The event was officially opened by First Lady Esther Lungu.
She said education is a lifelong tool to equalise the globe and attain the Agenda 2063, which seeks to promote a united Africa.
Prof Dranzoa also praised Zambia for its commitment to promoting girl child education and gender impartiality in schools.
“Bravo to Zambia and the leadership for all the efforts they are putting in place to ensure that every child, irrespective of social and economic status, attains quality education. Zambia is doing fabulous works and Government is supporting all the FAWE programmes,” she said.