UNICEF is working to make sure every girl has the opportunity to go to school, to learn, to make friends, and to prepare for the future.
We want girls to be #Unstoppable.
Education is every child's right yet worldwide, 132 millions girls are out of school.
The chance to learn is particularly vital for girls who have spent their young lives caught in horrific crises, living through natural disasters or caught in poverty.
School is a safe place where girls can learn, play, heal psychological wounds, access medical help and regain hope for a better future.
Why are girls out of school?
- Lack of female toilets
Madelin was able to return to school thanks to UNICEF-supported transportation. © UNICEF/Herwig
“For us girls, we have the chance
to be whatever we want to be
if we keep going to school.”
Madelin missed out on two years of school because of conflict. She spent the missed years at home learning the alphabet.
“There were no buses. I couldn’t go to school without them,” Madelin, 12, says.
Without reliable transportation, many girls miss out on the chance to gain a good education. UNICEF is helping Syrian refugee children, like Madelin, thrive at school by supporting transport and providing learning and child protection services through Makani ‘my space’ centres.
When the buses finally came back, Madelin was ecstatic.
“I am stronger because of education. For all us girls, we have the chance to be whatever we want to be if we keep going to school.”
Girls from the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh are making sanitart pads so that women and girls can feel comfortable and safe. © UNICEF/UN0156997/Bindra
“When I use the sewing machine,
I feel happy and strong.”
Education for girls is about more than access to school. It’s also about girls feeling safe and comfortable in the classroom.
Each month, girls are forced to stay home because their school lacks supplies and the sanitation facilities they need to manage their periods. They are worried about being teased, shamed, and stigmatised for something that is healthy and natural to every woman.
Getting a period in a crowded refugee camp is not easy for teenage girls and women. There is a lack of hygienic menstruation supplies and access to safe and private toilets to wash themselves and their menstrual cloths.
That's why girls from the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh are taking part in a UNICEF-supported Sanimart project to produce sanitary pads for themselves and other girls and to improve their knowledge on good menstrual hygiene practices.
Girls from the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh are making sanitary pads so that women and girls can feel comfortable and safe. © UNICEF/UN0156997/Bindra
What is UNICEF doing?
UNICEF works with communities, governments, and partners to remove barriers to girls’ education and promote gender equality in education – even in the most challenging settings. We:
- Tackle discriminatory gender norms and harmful practices that deny girls access to school and quality learning.
- Support governments to ensure that national education plans and policies prioritise gender equality.
- Helps schools and governments use assessment data to eliminate gender gaps in learning.
- Promote social protection measures to improve girls’ transition to and retention in secondary school.
- Remove gender stereotypes from learning materials.
- Address obstacles like distance-related barriers to education, re-entry policies for young mothers, and menstrual hygiene management in schools.
From refugee camps and warzones to countries torn apart by natural disasters, girls are going to extraordinary lengths to learn despite the danger they risk.
These girls don’t want to give up
but they urgently need our help. Something as vital as a dignity-kit or as simple as an exercise book can help get girls back to school and learning.
Give today to our Education for Every Girl
appeal and your donation will go directly to UNICEF’s education work.