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Listening to the voices of girls is more important than ever

POSTED February 12, 2021

Listening to the voices of girls is more important than ever

As International Development Week winds down, Children Believe reflects back on learnings from our webinar about the challenges African girls face in accessing education in 2021

Girl School Ethiopia - On the Home-front

This year, as Canada marks International Development Week (IDW), Children Believe joined with peer organizations, governments, partners and our supporters to highlight the “Go for the Goals” theme with a special focus on gender equality and health.

We marked IDW by focusing on the plight of girls in sub-Saharan Africa as they overcome barriers to education in 2021 in a webinar presented with the Graça Machel Trust.

Panellists from Children Believe, Graça Machel Trust, United Nations Women and Global Affairs Canada provided an update on how girls are facing early marriage, violence at home, child labour, pregnancy and more during the current education emergency brought on by the pandemic.

The discussion, moderated by CBC’s Susan Ormiston, highlighted the need to build infrastructure for learning, create holistic policies and, most importantly, listen to the voices of the girls and young women, so we can make effective, lasting change that will help them reach their dreams.

“[During COVID], we saw a rise in gender-based violence. Policies can only go so far. It’s about implementation. What action will people take?” Tanaka Chikati, a young panellist and representative from the Graça Machel program area in Zimbabwe, asked during the webinar.

Children Believe CEO, Fred Witteveen will share his takeaways in his next blog. Until then, watch the webinar here.

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ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE (formerly Christian Children's Fund of Canada):

Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

About ChildFund Alliance:

A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of 12 child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in more than 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.