Empowering Women through Education

Women constitute half of Africa’s population… and they gave birth to the other half”.  Is Africa really tapping fully on this critical resource for its development? The answer is: Africa can do better.  

Two-thirds of illiterate adults in Africa are women. Fewer than half the countries in Africa have equal numbers of girls and boys in school. Female participation in higher education still lags far behind that of males, particularly in science and technology. 

Education being the foundation to development, when will Africa unlock its most powerful resource by investing more in women and girls’ education? 

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, ADEA draws two pieces of work to the attention of its partners and followers. Both  investigate issues that inhibit girls’ and women’s full engagement and success in education and make recommendations on how to address them.

The first paper is a Policy Brief just produced by the Forum of African Educationists (FAWE) on “Tackling Gender Inequality in Higher Education Institutions in Africa”. The paper points to the need to adapt higher education (HE) institutional frameworks so that they create environments that are conducive to women’s and girls’ effective participation in higher education and redress the gender imbalance. The paper is produced on the request of ADEA for the African Higher Education Summit taking place next week in Dakar. 

The second paper is study on gender violence in schools, an issue of great concern, which is preventing girls from attending school. The paper, produced in 2012 by for the ADEA Triennale, develops and makes recommendations on an issue which is still current.  

I call upon all our partners, actors and stakeholders in education to enhance their efforts towards women’s and girls’ education. 

Education is the first step to empowering women and girls to fully participate in the social, economic and political lives of their communities and in Africa’s sustainable development. Let’s make it happen!

Oley Dibba Wadda, Executive Secretary, ADEA

On the occasion of International Women’s Day on “Empowering Women, Empowering Economies – Make it Happen”, March 8, 2015