The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) continues to support Girl Child Education and Gender Parity through the Sierra Leone Girls Education Network (SLEGEN) in the Ministry Of Education Youths and Sports.
In a brief statement during the opening ceremony of a two day session on gender analysis for deputy directors, gender focal persons and local councilors in Kenema over the weekend, UNICEF Education specialist, Merriall Davies said the workshop was one with a difference.
She observed that since the central government was devolving power to the local councils, it was important to educate councilors on gender analysis and girl child education, so that when they make policies and laws, they should also prioritize girl child education and gender equity.
Explaining the background, Mrs. Gloria Johnson, chairperson of SLEGEN said the session was planned to improve on gender sensitivity amongst district education officers and councilors for them to accurately relate gender issues in Schools as well as in communities.
She also said the session was a pilot step to get the district education officers to be knowledgeable on gender analysis and to relate the issues on School inspections.
Mrs. Johnson further informed the participants that despite efforts by government and NGOs to get girls in schools, the result has been dismal. She encouraged them to render all necessary support to promote girls education in the country.
Papers were delivered on gender concepts, analysis, significance of girls education and factors inhibiting the education of the girl child. Issues such as female empowerment and how a nation cannot progress without gender equity were dealt with.