Girls’ access to school as well as their retention, completion and performance are determined by existing national policies. Yet studies have shown that education policies in many countries do not take into account the unique conditions that prevent girls from accessing and completing basic education.
As a result, although there has been commendable improvement in addressing girls’ education, national education policies are still not comprehensively gender-responsive.
At FAWE, we work to influence governments and other partners to review existing educational policies and adopt strategies to achieve greater and better participation of girls in education.
FAWE recognizes that without appropriate education policies in place, there can be no effective gender transformation in education systems. FAWE therefore works closely with ministries of education and education policymakers at all levels to influence education policy in favour of increasing access, improving retention and enhancing performance of girls in school.
We have influenced the institutionalisation of several policy measures specific to the promotion of girls’ education. These include re-entry to school for adolescent mothers, affirmative action for admission to higher education, government bursaries for underprivileged girls and removal of taxes on sanitary towels.
Specifically, FAWE seeks to influence the review of national education policies and plans for greater gender-responsiveness in the following ways:
- Engaging in policy dialogue, ministerial consultations and involvement in policy formulation and review processes;
- Monitoring progress of Education for All (EFA) through membership forums;
- Commissioning research on the status of girls’ education in sub-Saharan African to guide advocacy and interventions;
- Documenting and disseminating demonstrated best practices in girls’ education; and,
- Developing strategic partnerships with government, civil society organisations, networks and education coalitions to reinforce the girls’ education campaign.
Through these actions, FAWE gets to become an active member of education task forces and policy review committees in its countries of operation. FAWE not only maintains focus on gender and education in various forums but maintains the position of gender issues on the campaign agenda of Education for All.