Burkina Faso has the 7th highest child marriage rate globally. Yes, you read that shocking statistic correctly. The 7th highest. A 2019 global database study by AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL “found that 52% of the women in Burkina
Faso currently between 20-24 years of age were married before age 18.” Less than half of the girls complete a basic education. For example, the success rate for the first cycle study certificate, Basic Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E.) or the end of secondary term was estimated at 43.1%, with 38.5% for girls in 2018 according to UNESCO. Girl Now Woman Later wants to improve these statistics.
Disparity in gender:
With 65.7 % of boys attending school against 54.5 % of girls, girls" education is very limited with the assumption that they will eventually fall into a child marriage fate or withdraw from schools.
Period Poverty/ Period shaming
At least 40% of the population in Burkina Faso is in poverty. Due to the lack of resources, including running water and feminine products (e.g., menstrual pads), some girls do not attend school because of fear of period shaming.
The Double standard Rule
Most girls in Burkina Faso spend a lot of time doing households chores, such as caring for their younger siblings and/or relatives, cooking, and cleaning instead of studying. A 2019, Global Citizen article revealed that Burkina Faso bore the highest number of girls doing household chores compared to boys.
Girl Now Woman Later, Inc. hopes to increase the literacy rate, especially among girls, and also, to increase the graduation rate among females from middle school and high school in Burkina Faso.
By promoting literacy and education for girls in Burkina Faso, we will direct them towards a better future. Our mission is to focus on two main issues: 1) child marriage and 2) period shaming/menstruation education. First, child marriage is illegal under Burkina Faso law with an age limit of 21 for males and 17 for females. However, the law neither applies to traditional nor religious marriages, meaning the majority of girls are still vulnerable, particularly if they live in rural areas. Girls who are provided with enough feminine products are more likely to stay in school, and those who graduate are less tempted into child marriage. Girl Now Woman Later, Inc. will work towards making girls comfortable with their periods and keeping them in school.
A world in which girl’s education is not abandoned or taken away because of her gender, where she can
freely pursue her education, become skilled at anything that she desires, and still be a girl, and grow into a woman.
Our Inspiring Quote
"Teach her to read and love books. Books will help her understand and question the world, help her express herself, and help her in whatever she wants to become."
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
What We Will Do
By providing tutoring sessions in our center in addition to life skills (such as financial literacy, self-reliance, and more), we will provide the necessary foundations for our students to become future leaders.
We at Girl Now Woman Later Inc believe the legal age for marriage should be raised to 18 (for females). It is vital that this covers all forms of marriage. We will advocate for established partnerships between government and community officials to ensure all girls have the time to be girls and the opportunity to receive an education before marriage.
We plan to teach girls about understanding their monthly menstruation, perhaps BEFORE and during puberty, and since 1 in every 2 of female adolescents drop out of high school to get married in Burkina Faso, Girl Now Woman Later, Inc wants to include skill-building (e.g., sewing) and life skills (character-building, technology skills) as part of our organization. With vocational skills, girls will have valuable skills to fall back on.