Felicia Dahlquist/Huffington Post UK
In 2005 Liberia made history by electing Africa’s first female president. Women turned out in their droves to elect Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the country’s new leader. It heralded a bright new era of potential for women in this small West African country.
This year will be President Sirleaf’s last year in office. She has been advocating for girls’ rights over the years. In her annual message this year she said:
“We continue to keep our promise to the women of Liberia who, in large measure, have assured our success… I get the greatest reward from our support to women and girls when a young girl challenges her teacher to be more considerate, pointing out to him that she, too, can become president.”
That being said, today Liberia ranks 146 out of 155 countries in terms of gender inequality and 17% of primary school-aged children are not in the classroom. Girls face a range of challenges in accessing a quality education and struggle to remain in school. The primary school completion rate for girls living in rural areas and coming from low-income families is only 13%.
British NGO Street Child’s latest report due to be published next month reveals the many barriers that girls face in education and their teams are working with girls across the country to find solutions.
Source: News Now / Huffington Post