Gender equality within Build a School
In rural Uganda eight out of ten girls who enrol for primary school fail to make it to the final year, let alone pass their leaving exams and continue their education. In Kenya the ratio is two out of five. The reasons are complex, but poor sanitary facilities, a lack of sanitary protection, local beliefs and customs, lack of knowledge and the all-pervasive poverty of rural Africa are significant contributory factors.
What We Do
Gender equality is naturally a primary objective of all of Build Africa's programmes. We believe that education is a fundamental human right that every child is entitled to.
Working with 78 schools in Kenya and Uganda in 2011, we are supporting teachers, parents and pupils as they develop a three year School Development Plan that addresses the key problems relating to their school. Through this process we are consulting with women and girls to ensure they have a say in how their schools are developed and that they can speak freely about issues which affect them.
In schools supported by Build Africa approximately 50% of pupils enrolled are girls. In 2012 girls accounted for 49% of those taking their leaving exams. Exam results show that girls are now catching up with boys in all the schools we work with.
We will be providing separate sanitary facilities for all the girls and sanitary towels for the older female students. We will be promoting community awareness meetings and local radio shows to address issues like early marriage and the value of sending girls to school. Teachers will also be trained in child friendly teaching methods that treat every child as an individual and where necessary we will work with the schools to lobby the government for more female teachers.