Separating Violence and Education for Girls

In schools all over the world, women and girls face problems. In American schools, girls are taught too quickly to compete against each other, to undermine the success of other women so they can get ahead. American girls are also presented with the paradox that the must both be beautiful, popular, thin and smart, but not too smart and not too vocal about their intelligence. These pressures and problems are real, but they are nothing compared to the incredible violence and danger girls in other countries face when they attempt to go to school.

The President of NoVo Foundation, Jennifer Buffet, has made this issue her life’s mission. Her organization seeks to end the violence girls face as they attend school and strive to obtain an education. In an article published on on October 11, Buffet makes the case for girls’ education and safety and for greater international understanding of the barriers facing women when it comes to school.

At the end of the article, Buffet offers several ideas of how we can fix this problem and here are a few, in her own words:

  • Invest directly in girls. Less than 2% of every international development dollar goes directly to adolescent girls, let alone toward protecting them from violence. We have made great strides globally in increasing the numbers of girls in primary school, but until we make girls’ safety a priority we will not advance our educational goals.
  • Recruit, train and retain female teachers. Female teachers can reduce some of the major risks adolescent girls face in school. They can also serve as strong role models and help girls imagine different futures for themselves.
  • Ensure schools are accountable to girls by enacting and enforcing policies that prevent sexual abuse and exploitation by teachers.

Overall the article was a really wonderful argument in the case for female empowerment and girls’ rights to an education. I suggest you read it!

Also, if you’d like to get involved in the fight for girls, Buffet recommends 10×10 and the Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund. I also think The Girl Effect is a wonderful organization that fights for girls in a well-rounded and effective way.



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