Pan-African Parliament Takes Bold Steps to Empower Girls’ Education in Africa


In a significant step towards addressing the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the education of girls, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Bureau has extended its full support to the African Union International Center for Girls and Women’s Education in Africa (CIEFFA) #AfricaEducatesHer initiative. This collaborative effort aims to protect the right to education for girls and young women, ensuring their continuous learning and successful return to school.

During a workshop jointly hosted by the PAP and CIEFFA, President of the PAP, H.E Chief Fortune Charumbira, expressed gratitude to AU CIEFFA and the Committee on Education for their timely initiative. Chief Charumbira emphasized the workshop’s importance in revitalizing discussions and actions surrounding women and girls’ education. “This is an opportunity for us to discuss and reignite the momentum on issues pertaining to the education of women and girls,” he stated.

The workshop, held on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP Second Ordinary Session in Midrand, South Africa, will run until June 2, 2023. H.E Chief Charumbira acknowledged that the progress made in women and girls’ education had been setback by the Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted learning and affected the financial capacity of parents to support education. He urged National Parliaments to allocate budgets that prioritize women’s and girls’ education, emphasizing the importance of legislative oversight to ensure effective implementation.

Chief Charumbira further highlighted the PAP’s commitment to the #AfricaEducatesHer campaign, revealing that the organization is currently developing a Model Law on Gender Equality. This legislation will serve as a strong foundation for supporting the campaign’s objectives. “As PAP, we are fully engaged in this campaign. We take pride in our ongoing efforts to empower women,” he affirmed.

Speaking at the workshop, Hon Amina Abdou Souna, Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Education, reiterated the right of every girl to access quality education. She acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic had severely impacted girls’ education, leading to a staggering statistic of 11 million girls unable to attend school. The workshop, she noted, aimed to find sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by young girls, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.

Hon Souna emphasized that the platform provided an opportunity for the PAP to share innovative policies and legislative reforms adopted at national levels to address the impact of the pandemic on education systems, with a particular focus on girls and women.

The Acting Coordinator of AU CIEFFA, Mrs. Simone Yankey-Ouattara, celebrated the existing partnership between CIEFFA and the PAP. She commended their collaborative efforts in advocating for out-of-school girls and facilitating their reintegration into the education system. Mrs. Yankey-Ouattara stressed the urgency and necessity of investing in girls’ education, citing the alarming statistic of 32.6 million girls currently out of school, with 9.3 million at risk of never receiving an education.

The collective commitment of the Pan-African Parliament, the African Union International Center for Girls and Women’s Education in Africa, and other stakeholders involved in the #AfricaEducatesHer campaign offers hope for a brighter future for girls’ education across the continent. With collaborative efforts and continued support, the barriers hindering girls’ access to education can be dismantled, enabling every girl to thrive and contribute to the development of their communities and nations.

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