Providing learning opportunities for vulnerable, hard-to-reach women and girls is one of the best investments we can make in working towards sustainable development. And yet, in developing countries, almost one-quarter of all women and girls aged 15-24 have never completed primary school.
COL recognises that advancing the goals of both women’s empowerment and gender equality are central to ‘Learning for Sustainable Development.’
With funding from the governments of Canada and Australia, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has partnered with community organisations and institutions to support schooling and skills development for some of the world’s most vulnerable and hard-to-reach women and girls using open, distance and technology-enabled learning.
- the brand with which the project will be represented - emphasises that girls are at the centre of this project.
Empowering women and girls to shape their own future has an incredible multiplier effect on economic growth that leads to increased prosperity not just for individuals, but for entire families. Girls empowered are a key driver for sustainable development. Through this brand, girls will inspire positive transformation in their families, their communities and the world.
Some of the barriers that girls and young women face in attending and completing school are child, early and forced marriages, distance to school and security concerns, and the costs of schooling.
Child, Early & Forced Marriage (CEFM): Millions of girls are forced into early marriage for a variety of economic and cultural reasons. Girls and women who marry young tend to have lower levels of education and are much more likely to have multiple children to care for while still young.
- Distance to school and security concerns: Distance from school is a safety issue for girls and women in many regions of the world. The issue is not only safety, but cultural and social values. In many cultures, it is not common or desirable for girls to travel unaccompanied for long distances. The further away a girl lives from school, the less likely she is to attend.
Cost of schooling: The cost of schooling is a significant barrier for many resource-poor families. If they are to invest in education, boys receive priority. If education is affordable and flexible, girls also have the opportunity to participate without disrupting their family responsibilities.
Community of Practice: www.girlsinspire.org