Girls and young women’s access, retention and completion in schools is still of huge concern in Africa. The latest figures from UNESCO (2019) show that 52 million girls are not in school in Africa, while 4 million will never step into a classroom compared to 2 million boys.
Africa also has the highest rate of out of school children and adolescents globally However, girls remain more likely to be permanently excluded from education and at a higher risk of being left behind. This reality calls for redoubling efforts to ensure education is both of good quality and equitable.
Achieving the aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals requires closing the gender gaps in education. Only by partnership, coordination and identifying and working closely with key community stakeholders can significant progress be made for girls and women in Africa.
Since 2017, the African Union’s International Centre for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa (AU/CIEFFA), in line with the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25), is striving to involve traditional and religious leaders towards the empowerment of girls and women in and through education.