Millions of girls around the world face obstacles every day that prevent them from receiving an education. Violence, conflict, distance, cultural norms and even menstruation can force a girl to miss school or even drop out altogether. Here are three girls that have overcome these barriers:

Periods


For 14-year-old Faozea, the biggest obstacle to getting an education was her period. 

Each month, girls like Faozea stay home because their school lacks supplies and 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. 

UNICEF’s dignity kits - which include soap, water buckets, and sanitary pads - have helped girls like Faozea continue their education in more comfortable conditions.

“The dignity kits helped me to keep my clothes clean for when I go to school,” Faozea says. 

“Before, it was hard for me to come to school when I had my periods. I was not comfortable.
“When I went back home with the dignity kit the girls from my neighbourhood who had quit school where envious. They wanted to go back to school to have the same things.”

“It is important for me to stay in school so that I can become a teacher.”

 
Faozea says she feels comfortable going to school thanks to UNICEF-supplied dignity kits which help her keep her clothes clean for class. © UNICEF/UN0122318/Faffin
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Distance

Madelin, 12, 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 says.

“I was really, really sad thinking to myself I will no longer go to school. I thought about all the other girls who were going. The only thing I could do was sit at home and hope the buses would come.”

When the buses finally returned, Madelin was ecstatic. 

“My favourite time of the day is when I’m on the bus going to school. I’m so happy when I’m chatting with my friends about life and what we did the evening before. We don’t stop talking the whole way,” she says. 

 
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. © UNICEF/UN0239881/Herwig

Without reliable transportation, many girls miss out on the chance to gain a good education. The long journey is not always safe, and many girls are at risk of danger. 

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.

Madelin’s wants to be a doctor when she grows up. She plans to open up her own clinic back home in Syria. 

“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.”

 
"I am stronger because of education."
Give the gift of education

Danger


"Back home I used to go to school too, but the last three years before we escaped we were too scared. Boko Haram would kill you if you did,” says Fanta, 14. 

The extremist group killed her father and brother and kidnapped her sister in their village in Nigeria last year. Since then, Fanta has been living in a refugee settlement in Cameroon.

Despite the horrific difficulties she and her family have faced, Fanta has returned to school.

“It is my joy,” she says.

A school is a place where girls can learn, play, make friends, heal and access medical help. For girls like Fanta in Nigeria, and around the world, education can change their lives. 

 
A school is a place where girls can learn, play, make friends, heal and access medical help. For girls like Fanta in Nigeria, and around the world, education can change their lives. © UNICEF/UN0329227/Bindra
Give the gift of education

Education is every child’s right. Yet, 37 million girls around the world are missing out on primary school.

The chance to learn is vital for girls who have spent their lives caught in horrific crises, living through natural disasters or caught in poverty. A school is a safe place where girls can learn, play, heal psychological wounds, access medical help and regain hope for a better future. 

 

This International Day of the Girl, you can empower girls to achieve their goals.


UNICEF is committed to giving every girl and boy equal access to the education they’ll need to thrive in life. Your gift today will give children that chance – regardless of gender.
 
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Education for every girl

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