Women’s empowerment through education is becoming increasingly realised as an effective catalyst for sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Females who attend school have reduced vulnerability to disease, delayed marriages, improved infant and child survival rates and higher economic productivity.
Though much emphasis is now placed on promoting gender equality in education, it is often the onset of puberty that remains to be a significant catalyst for absenteeism and eventual total withdrawal from school in the developing world. Adolescence-induced barriers to female education include:
• Menstrual management and pain
• Expectations to earn an income
• Domestic chores
• Female genital mutilation (FGM)
• Child Marriage
• Teen Pregnancy
Whilst puberty and adolescence is an inevitable fact of life, dropping out of school prematurely does not have to be. WRA aims to keep girls in formal education by raising awareness and facilitating open dialogue on the above issues to bring about attitudinal changes at the community level. In doing so, it is hoped that barriers to everyday schooling will be broken down, allowing females to progress through to high school completion without disruption.