Education is one of the most fundamental human rights, yet Liberia ranks first among post-war countries with the number of out-of-school children at 21.36%. The successive crises of the intermittent civil war (1988-2003), the Ebola Crisis (2014-2015), and the current coronavirus pandemic have created significant demographic and development challenges to girls’ education rights and gender equality. The government’s response was the development of the National Policy on Girls’ Education (NPGE) in 2006 (revised 2013). The NPGE recognizes the gender disparities in the education sector and the need for the sector to prioritize gender mainstreaming and take affirmative action for girls’ education. The effective and efficient administration of the NPGE will significantly reduce barriers to girls’ education in Liberia. However, fourteen years after its adoption by the Ministry of Education, it is yet to be effectively implemented.
Three women-led, women rights organizations, Helping Our People Excel (HOPE), CAREFOUND Liberia, and the Paramount Young Women Initiative (PAYOWI), have formed a partnership for the Educate HER campaign. Under the auspices of this campaign, we have built a coalition of national-level organizations to advocate for the effective implementation of the policies that will advance Girl’s Education in Liberia. The Educate HER Coalition builds strategic partnerships with government line ministries, civil society organizations, donor’s women’s rights groups, autonomous social movements, and media institutions for:
- Research and policy review
- Awareness and civic participation
- Capacity building (technical and logistical resources) of education stakeholders
- Advocacy and policy engagement
Although the challenges identified were numerous, one of Educate HER’s key focuses is improving the availability of and access to information and disaggregated data on girls’ education, to influence decision-makers and duty-bearers, and inform policymaking and implementation, including school policies and gender-specific programming. We’ve developed several tools to help policymakers and civil society organizations contribute to the effective implementation of the National Policy on Girls Education.
- THE EDUCATE HER WEBSITE: www.educateherlib.com
The website serves as a platform for different types of information on girls’ education in Liberia. There, stakeholders will find quantitative data at the county level including the enrollment rate of girls, number of girls out of school, female teachers, attendance, retention, and completion. They will also be able to explore analysis and tracking of trends in the areas of adequate systems for evidence-based decision making, coordination and capacity building, and financial investments.
- Policy Briefs and Mapping Documents
These documents help civil society organizations advocate for adequate financial investments and key inputs for the effective implementation of the National Policy on Girls Education. They can be found on the Educate HER website.
- EDUCATE HER: Increasing Financial Investment for Gender Equality and Equity in Education Budget Policy Brief: consist of policy analysis, power mapping and resource mapping. Reviews the budgetary mandates as per national and regional instruments signed by the Government of Liberia. and the current national budget and education sector budget to make recommendations.
- National Budget Cycles & Decision-Making Processes for The National Policy on Girls’ Education: consist ofmapping of national budget decision-making forums, analysis of budget processes/cycles to help CSOs identify strategic points of entry for effective budget advocacy.
- Promoting Gender Equality and Equity in Education Taking Collective Action to Ensure Girls’ Attendance, Retention, and Completion (GARC) In Schools in Liberia Policy Brief: consist of a review of the GARC social research conducted by HOPE, power mapping, and a policy review to identify programming commitments as per national and regional instruments signed by the Government of Liberia to make recommendations.
- Mapping of National Education Policy and Decision-Making Forums & Platforms: consists ofan analysis of the national policy decision-making processes and cycles and mapping of national decision-making forums.
Educate HER is a stand-alone, girls- and women-focused project focused on ensuring the effective implementation of the National Policy on Girls Education.