20 CSOs join campaign to uplift girl child

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BY PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE
OVER 20 civic society organisations (CSOs) have partnered their regional counterparts to promote access to education for the girl child in rural and farming communities in
Zimbabwe.

The project runs under the umbrella Girls Education Advocacy in the Region (GEAR) Alliance.

The GEAR Alliance brings together CSOs such as the Students And Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SayWhat) in Zimbabwe, Facet in Zimbabwe, Girls Activist Youth Organisation (Gayo) in Malawi and National Action for Quality Education in Zambia (NAQEZ).

In Zimbabwe, the lead CSO is Farming Community Educational Trust (Facet).

Speaking at the unveiling of the alliance in the capital on Wednesday, Facet project co-ordinator Respect Tsvanhu said girls in rural and farming communities were facing challenges in accessing quality education.

“In Zimbabwe girls in farming and rural communities face deprivation like limited access to primary and secondary education which affects their vertical mobility on their social and professional wellbeing,” Tsvanhu
said.

“There are inadequacies around domestic funding of education systems, curriculum and infrastructural facilities for education in rural and farming communities. It is after the realisation of the mentioned scenarios that there is a need for massive educational advocacy for the girl child in marginalised communities.”

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed several inequalities between rural and urban learners, where those in rural areas had their education completely disrupted due to lack of e-learning services.

“The project will improve access by girls and young women in rural and farming communities to government-supported primary and secondary education,” Tsvanhu said.

Education Coalition of Zimbabwe spokesperson Mercy Mangwana Mubayiwa said the partnership would also help reduce child marriages in marginalised societies.

“The boundary partnership will go a long way in empowering the girls and women who sometimes drop out of school due to financial constraints and go into child marriages,” Mubaiwa
said.

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