Girl-Child, Health, and Education in Africa

Girl-Child, Health, and Education in Africa

Author by Dr. Taiwo Williams

Journal/Publisher: The Palgrave Handbook Of African Women

Volume/Edition: 1

Language: English

Pages: 1 - 15


This chapter discusses the girl-child’s health and education as indicators of a country’s social and economic development. Majority of the out-of-school children in Africa are girls who live in sub-Saharan Africa. The chance of the girl child having access to education is threatened by many factors, poverty being the most observed risk factor. Educating the girl-child is of strategic development priority. This is particularly so given the overwhelming responsibility of women’s social roles which affect the growth and survival of future generations. This study considers the girl-child’s development in terms of the intersection of health and education and the outcome of this. Some of the major challenges faced by the African girl-child in various contexts include economic deprivation, traditional misconceptions, abuse, gender inequality, violence, and conflict as well as social norms such as early marriage and female genital cutting. Among other possible measures to improve the conditions of girls’ health and education across the continent, this chapter suggests the need for governments at all levels to enact or ratify national and international laws and agreements and to enforce strict measures that will protect the interest of the girl-child at all times. There is also a need for renewed effort to reach the new literacy and health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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