Girls Clubs – Building Confidence to Stay in School
Today girls in Ghana and around the world still struggle to complete basic education. They face many complex barriers that prevent them from attending school including teen pregnancy, the threat of child marriage, domestic or commercial labour, shame-surrounding menstruation, and more.
With support from ActionAid, CALID has been working to challenge barriers that keep girls out of school through the formation of 22 Girls clubs in the Tamale Metro and Sagnarigu districts. These Girls Clubs provide a safe space for girls to discuss the issues that affect them. Creating spaces for girls to learn and form support networks can help them progress to higher levels of education and overcome the challenges they face in school, at home, and in their community.
Clubs meet once, sometimes twice a week for the girls to participate in fun and educational activities. They participate in learning activities such as debates, quizzes, dramas, competitions, games, sports, singing and dancing, and story telling. Club matrons and patrons guide discussions on a number of important issues including girl-child education, child rights, early marriage, sex education, HIV/AIDs and STDs, reproductive health, sanitation, personal hygiene, respecting parents and elders, and career guidance, and so on.
By participating in these clubs girls have been able to improve their academic performance, improve their confidence and desire to remain in school, learn about their sexual and reproductive health, and participate more in school activities.
At CALID we know that empowering girls through education is one of the most important things that we can do to improve the wellbeing of girls and end poverty. Studies have shown that a girl with 8 years of education is 4 times less likely to be married as a child, and according to the World Bank, a girl with one extra year of education can earn 20% more as in her lifetime. Moreover, girl child education does not only improve the lives of girls, it benefits entire communities. It contributes to lower maternal and infant mortality rates, fewer child marriages, faster economic growth, and ends the cycle of poverty.