Girls in Rwanda particularly those of adolescent age continue to face barriers to achieving their full potential. This has implications not only for individual girls and communities but will continue to be felt at societal and economic levels if left unaddressed.
The analysis made by BLF also revealed that girls in Rwanda face normative, infrastructural, and governance-related barriers to achieving full gender parity in education. While looking at the barriers and challenges and considering the BLF programme design and its intended outcome, as well as matching it with the Government of Rwanda and FCDO’s priorities, BLF has selected a number of priorities aligned with its girls’ education strategy. As one of the proposed approaches to deliver on BLF’s girls’ education strategy, the project supports the girls’ spaces through clubs in schools.
What are Girls’ Clubs
•A girls’ club as a group of young girls dedicated to a particular interest or activity.
•The mission of girls’ clubs is to provide club members and other young girls with a safe, supportive and inspiring environment to bring their life and learning experiences together and address barriers hindering girls’ & boys’ enrolment, continuation and performance.
•Supporting Girls’ Education remains a global and national priority.
•A combination of general and girl-targeted interventions proves to bring tangible results towards eradication of gender-based hinderances in education.
•Girls in Rwanda – particularly those of adolescent age – continue to face barriers to achieving their full potential. This has implications not only for individual girls and communities but will continue to be felt at societal and economic levels if left unaddressed.
•Although the inequality that exists between the sexes becomes more pronounced as the level of education gets higher, the roots of cultural stereotypes/biases are formed from early on.
•The findings from the baseline assessment done by BLF indicate the need to design girl-targeted interventions aimed at raising awareness about and tackling gender inequalities that hinder the full realization of the right to education for girls.
Practically, girls’ clubs will help to achieve the following outcomes :
•Girls are kept in schools.
•Increased knowledge about Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.
•Recognition of best performing girls.
•Life and learning skills enhanced.
•Sustainment of girls’ gains and achievements.
Who participates ?
Mixed clubs of 25-30 members
•80% girls and 20% boys.
•Focus on over-age girls in P.4 and P.5 during recruitment.
•Other vulnerability criteria for consideration during recruitment are as follows : girls at risk of drop-out, with absenteeism/ repetition records, from very poor households, with single parents and those with disability among others.
Who leads the club ?
•The girls’ club is facilitated by two gender focal teachers, one female and one male.
•Gender focal teachers should be selected based on how well they get along with students, how approachable they are, and their confidence speaking about the club topics. Gender focal teachers should be able to serve as confidants to students.
When do club activities take place ?
•Clubs may tap into the Wednesday afternoon slot for club activities in schools, but this may vary from school to school or the facilitators and peers’ set plan.
In which schools do we find the clubs ?
•Pilot Girls’ Clubs were launched in 21 schools from January to July 2022.
•All schools are encouraged to begin planning for girls’ clubs in a similar fashion. Trainings for the club facilitators & distribution of materials will be considered in the upcoming academic year.