On August 15-17, leaders from UNICEF and from the Ministry of Education met with young African women in Uganda to launch the Girls’ Education Movement. Approximately 150 young African women joined the discussion on preventing sexual abuse and gender discrimination in African schools.
60 percent of the 42 million children in sub-Saharan Africa who are unable to go to school are girls. Advocates note that the benefits of women’s education in Africa include lower fertility rates and lower maternal mortality rates. UNICEF also sees women’s education as the key to stopping the spread of HIV. UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy explains, “Only education can empower young people with the knowledge they need to protect themselves from infection.”
A Platform for Action, drafted at the conference, will be presented by the President of Uganda at the UN Special Session on Children.