By Ms. Martha Muhwezi
Executive Director, FAWE
As a thought leader on matters education for Girls in Africa, the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) joins the world to mark the International Day of Education themed “Changing Course, Transforming Education”. FAWE with the support of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IIDEA) under the women in political participation programmes, is developing a Model School leadership module targeting girls in schools towards reducing the commonly noted metaphor of the leaking pipeline to leadership among girls and women. FAWE’s intervention was necessitated by the absence of girl-specific leadership training in schools.
The model leadership module is designed for early stage learning to enable better understanding of how to address girls’ leadership development within the schools. Girls face a biased perception about leadership that favors boys as leaders; these biases are held by boys, girls, and sometimes parents. These biases against girls having power may be explained by lack of confidence and self-esteem by most girls, stereotyping, such as viewing girls as overly emotional or expressive. It is important that girls are not only exposed to leadership development opportunities and career options, but that intentional efforts are made to create programs that overcome these barriers. The leadership module is an education pathway to leadership for girls, it will address the various barriers for girls to be in leadership and, enhance empowerment and inclusivity.
As we celebrate Education, FAWE hopes that the module will be adopted by schools in Africa and beyond to instill leadership skills in girls and boys. The school environments are the only source of education for formal leadership experiences and programming to which students are exposed. Let us all join hands to ensure that we are on course towards transformed education for great leadership.
Happy International Day for Education!
Photo credits: FAWE Zimbabwe