We focus on girls because girls are especially vulnerable to dropping out of school, and when girls stay in school the result is socially-responsible women who secure better jobs, raise healthier families, and create lasting positive change in their communities.
Girls who are fortunate enough to enroll in secondary school then face significant financial, cultural, and environmental challenges that undermine their ability to make the most of the secondary school opportunity. As a result, young women rarely complete secondary school or perform well enough to qualify for university. Once they reach the workforce, women are much less likely to occupy leadership positions, and they earn significantly less than their male counterparts.
Only 2/3 of Tanzanian girls who start secondary school will go on to complete secondary school.
Obstacles to finishing secondary school include poverty (88%), pregnancy (60%), and early marriage (55%). When a girl drops out of school, not only is her healthy adolescent development and transition into productive adulthood impacted, but she is exposed to challenges she is ill-equipped to overcome.
BENEFITS OF HELPING GIRLS
For each additional year of secondary school a girl completes, her earning potential increases by 25%
For each additional year of secondary school a girl completes, her quality of life increases markedly. Her lifetime earnings, her ability to direct her own reproductive choices, her ability to provide education for her own children – she is empowered to improve all of these with additional schooling.
Girls with secondary schooling are up to 6 times less likely to marry as children, and have more control over the timing and number of children they bear.
Girls with secondary education are less likely to become sexually active at a younger age, less likely to get pregnant by the age of 15, and less likely to be subject to the emotional, physical, and sexual violence that is widespread in Tanzania. Educating girls also results in decreased child mortality and a reduction in HIV/AIDS rates.
Increasing the number of women with a secondary education by 1% can raise a county’s annual per capita economic growth by 0.37%.
For most young women, completing school and obtaining a certificate is not enough to guarantee an improved quality of life and the opportunity for personal fulfillment. Without ‘soft’ skills like confidence, resilience and motivation, many will remain disempowered in their everyday lives. AfricAid looks beyond individual academic achievement to ensure that girls are well-placed to become empowered women who will ultimately change Tanzanian society for the better.
HOW AFRICAID HELPS GIRLS
AfricAid works to address the issue of poor educational outcomes for adolescent girls in Tanzania at two key stages of their development.
Binti Shupavu is a four-year life skills course for lower secondary school girls covering topics such as study skills, personal leadership, health, and self-confidence with the goal of increasing graduation rates for vulnerable girls.
Population Council, https://www.popcouncil.org/research/girls-education