New Research Promotes a Socio-cultural Lens to Support Girls’ Education in Ghana

January 3rd, 2023 | News

Findings from research published by World Education in UNESCO’s PROSPECTS journal highlights socio-culturally appropriate strategies to support former out of school girls to return to formal education in Ghana. This research, based on the work of the Strategic Approach to Girls’ Education (STAGE) project, reflects on the need for context appropriate project design and community-led interventions.

Contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 4.5 – promoting gender equality in education – in Ghana, STAGE targeted girls between 10 and 14 years old that were out of school due to a myriad of factors such as:

  1. Teenage pregnancy
  2. Child marriage
  3. Distance remoteness and lack of access to school
  4. Disabilities
  5. Lack of community and parental support
  6. Extreme poverty
  7. Covid-19 or poor health
  8. Safeguarding concerns in school

To identify out of school girls and design community-specific support systems that ensure they remain motivated and empowered to achieve their aspirations, STAGE organized participatory community asset mapping activities from the start. Through this combination of community-led interventions and the engagement of district and central level stakeholders, STAGE supported the transition of 8,245 out of the initially enrolled 8,333 girls into primary and secondary education.

While the project has been shown to be effective, the goal of this research is to reflect on how culture, rather than being perceived as a hindrance to gender equality, can be used to support girls’ education. The research uses the lens of the Ubuntu philosophy, which focuses on relations, harmony, and cooperation on the family and community level, and argues that it can be used to show the value of girls’ education towards the well-being and stability of the community as a whole. We argue that, to allow girls to grow and succeed in their goals, the community, parents, and schools need to work together.

Read the full article.

Learn more about World Education’s work with Girls and Women’s Education.

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