UN issues global call for refugee girls’ education




The UN on Wednesday issued a global call to close what it called critical gap in refugee girls’ education, following a new study by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

UNHCR said by secondary-level education, refugee girls were only half as likely as their male peers to enrol in school, even though they make up half of the school-age refugee population,

“It is time for the international community to recognise the injustice of denying refugee girls and women an education.

“These findings are a global wake-up call, and I urge all to join us in demanding: ‘It’s her turn,’” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The report said access to education was a fundamental human right yet, for millions of women and girls among the world’s growing refugee population, it remained an aspiration – not a reality.

The commission found that while all refugee children had more difficulty attending school than their non-refugee peers, refugee girls faced even tougher challenged to find and keep a place in the classroom.

Moreover, as they get older, refugee girls face more marginalisation and the gender gap in secondary schools grows wider, the UNHCR report stressed.

It said poor facilities, such as a lack of appropriate toilets and menstrual supplies, could also block their access, while adding to the challenge, book costs, uniforms and distance could be prohibitive for refugee families.

“Finding solutions to the challenges refugee girls face as they strive to go to school requires action right across the board – from national education ministries to teacher training institutions, in communities and classrooms.

“There are formidable barriers to overcome. We are calling for an international effort to turn the tide.

“If we continue to neglect refugee girls’ education, it is evident that the consequences will be felt for generations. It is time to make refugee girls’ education a priority,” Grandi stressed.

UNHCR’s report highlighted effective, deliverable actions and policies to help more refugee girls get a quality education.

It found that if refugee adults were able to work and support their families, they were more likely to let their children stay in school.

“No girl should miss school because the journey there is too far or too dangerous – refugee girls need protection from harassment, sexual assault and kidnapping.

“More female teachers from within host and refugee communities must be recruited to promote best practice,” the report stressed.

The report noted that for refugee girls, a quality education reduces vulnerability to exploitation, sexual and gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy and child marriage.

Edited by: Sadiya Hamza

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Prudence Arobani: NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. We are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and we strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor @ Disclaimer.

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