#009: Pourquoi nos filles ne finissent-elles pas leur scolarité?

Sep 15 Issue of Empower46 below. To receive more like this straight to your inbox, join us here.

  • Pourquoi nos filles ne finissent-elles pas leur scolarité?

In this research-dense piece that also serves as the first introduction to Empower46's #PerspectiveSeries, my wonderful friend and research co-author, Barbara Kane breaks down the systematic nature of the education gap between girls and boys in Senegal. Written in French -- primarily targeted toward our Francophone readership -- the article effectively reveals how policies can pointedly solve for the gender gap.

I'm so excited for this launch of #PerspectiveSeries as yet another avenue for thought leadership, knowledge sharing and reader engagement on the platform. Its goal is to encourage an increased spotlight on trends, issues, and policies regarding women and girls across the continent.  All languages welcome.

Read for"L’éducation, serait-ce un investissement non viable, avec un retour sur investissement à trop long terme et donc qui n’en vaudrait pas la peine ?"



  • Battle of the Mean Girls

A new play, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls, will be making its debut at off-Broadway's Lucille Lortel Theater in New York. Centered around Paula, the queen bee at a Ghanaian boarding school, who is threatened by the arrival of new student Ericka, the play highlights "the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls around the globe." With African actresses  such as Zainab Jah and MaameYaa Boafo front and center in the play, it will undoubtedly be remarkable.

With secondary school drama, queen-bee competition and boarding house politics, this play sounds like my 2008! If you will be in NYC on Nov. 19th, let me know if Ericka wins the pageant.
Read for"As previously announced, School Girls; or the African Mean Girls Play begins previews at the Lucille Lortel theater on Thursday November 2 2017, with an official opening night set for Sunday, November 19, 2017."




  • Women and Agriculture Summit - Marrakech, Morocco

This week, Morocco hosted Believe in Africa's Women and Agriculture summit in Marrakech. The summit aimed to drive discussions on climate change, advance women in agriculture and improve the lives of those with agriculture-based livelihoods. 

With an emphasis on women in agriculture, conversations and workshops centered on providing more economic return for "poor subsistence women farmers who have been by-passed by dividends of economic growth." I covered in our July 21 issue that across Africa, women farmers are 13-25% less productive than their male counterparts for a variety of issues.

Read for“Women account for more than half of the workforce in agricultural activities and are almost entirely responsible for low-earning low-productivity rain-fed agriculture." 



  • If We Can't Study, We Can't Publish...

Nox Makunga explicitly lays out the gap between male and female scientists publishing academic findings and its effects on both the type of research being conducted and on the careers of female academics. 

The article highlights that female authors are less likely to be cited and as such, likely to have less gravitas in their fields. Furthermore, there are fewer women on journal boards and fewer women involved in peer-reviews. It is important to remember that the education gender gap does not only reflect on the literal number of female children in a local school - but also in the socio-economic/education 'pipeline', where due to several interacting factors, women are constantly left in the dust (representation-wise and often position-wise) in their fields. 

Read for"Based on their experiences, women can draw attention to facts and ideas that the male perspective may miss. But mere participation is not enough. Women need to be leaders and authorities if they are to direct research."



  • Women In War: Famine in South Sudan

Now four years into the South Sudan civil war, Global Citizen reports that 6 million people are now in need of food aid, while 1.7 million are at risk of famine. While it is remarkable that the women in the community are the biggest contributors to finding food - whether through petty trading of livestock to make money or by farming viable land, it is heartbreaking the lengths they must go to ensure that their families do not starve. 

Although humanitarian groups like Catholic Relief Services are effectively teaching women skills such as farming and organizations like FAO are dogged in providing food aid to the troubled region, there remains the awareness that only peace can truly provide the security of female empowerment.

Read for“With men in South Sudan either fighting or hiding, women have become their families' sole breadwinners. And many of them, like Nuong, have decided they don't want to rely on handouts. Instead, they're learning new skills, starting businesses and risking their lives to find sustainable ways to feed their families." 



Nneoma Nwankwo