In the Sahel, 4 million girls have had to drop out of school due to insecurity


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The education crisis remains acute in Sahel countries due to insecurity. Present in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, Aide et Action is alarmed by this situation, of which girls are the first victims.

“The countries of the Sahel zone are faced with demographic, security and migratory issues which weigh on the needs and capacities of their education systems, whose results are among the lowest in the world” underlined the report entitled “Meeting the challenges of education in a Sahel in crisis”, published by the Education Coalition in 2019. Now leader of this coalition, Aide et Action underlines the current educational emergency in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, three of its country of intervention. A situation that jeopardizes the future of many generations, and especially girls, since we know that they are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school in countries in crisis.

Girls’ education often considered a lower priority than that of boys

Indeed, the impacts of conflicts on girls are much more numerous than for boys. According to the Education Coalition report, before the COVID-19 crisis, in Niger, 54% of girls were not in school compared to 46% of boys (UIS). “Socio-economic contexts favor early marriages or the involvement of girls in housework. [..] In the region most affected by the conflict of the country, the rate of child marriage is the highest in the world with 89% of married girls. “

Today, the figures are even worse, as according to the latest estimates, in the Sahel, 4 million girls have had to drop out of school due to insecurity. Beyond the security aspect, in this area, the obstacles to quality education are numerous: primary school teachers are insufficiently trained, educational resources are non-existent, insufficient or inadequate, and local supervision is proving to be essential. very low quality. All these factors weaken girls, whose education is often considered a lower priority than that of boys.

“Without school, I would risk being condemned to early marriage and housework”

“Education is very important for all children and especially for girls,” said Aissata, a fifth-grade student at Sossokoira Primary School in Gao, Mali. That’s why when our school was closed, I took courses broadcast on national radio and local radio stations Nata and Adar. It is thanks to the school that I will be trained, that I will be able to graduate and have a job. The sponsorship offered by Aide et Action has changed my perception of school. When my sponsor talks to me about his home, his family and his environment, I discover life elsewhere, in France. Without school, I would not be able to read or write. Then I would risk being condemned to early marriage and housework. “

Like Aissata, millions of girls around the world could see their future brighter with access to quality education. On this International Day of the Girl, Aide et Action recalls the importance of breaking down the barriers posed by gender inequalities and exclusion, especially in conflict zones.