Girls, Too

11 October 2007, Issue No.14 - Focus on: Botswana

UNGEI Champion

Every issue of Girls Too! will feature an UNGEI Champion, individuals nominated for their strong commitment and activism for girls’ education and gender equality. We welcome your suggestions for future champions at ungei@unicef.org.

Tsholofelo Sefularo, 18, is an advocate for the rights of children and young people. She has been involved in projects that include empowering girls and boys in her country of Botswana. She volunteers for the Girl-Boy Education Movement, which mostly focuses on educating young people through livelihood and life skills programmes. She also works as a peer educator with Life Line, an organization that offers guidance and counselling to young people. Tsholofelo participated in ‘A Panel Discussion of Young People Devoted to Strategies to Reach Marginalized Adolescent Girls’ at the 51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, United Nations, New York, March 2007. She received radio equipment and skills training at UNICEF and has recently started recording digital diaries. In the first installment, she speaks with a successful local musician, Tshepiso Molapisi (stage name ‘Kast’), who has just founded a charitable organization called the Kast Foundation to help alleviate poverty in Botswana. Tsholofelo is a student at the University of Botswana and lives in the southern African nation’s capital, Gaborone.

Tsholo’s Digital Diary: Tapping the potential of youth to change lives in Botswana
Over the past few months, Tsholofelo Selufaro started recording interviews for the Digital Diaries project of Voices of Youth (UNICEF’s online community for young people) and UNICEF Radio.
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Recent stories

Footballer Marcel Desailly teaches girls in Ghana about success on and off the field
Accomplished football player and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Marcel Desailly recently visited the Northern Region of Ghana with the organization to encourage children, especially young girls, to play football and go to school.
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Occupied Palestinian Territory: The challenges of getting an education during conflict
Ongoing conflict poses threats to the education of Palestinian children. Not only is safe access to school often jeopardized, but it is hard for them to thrive once they get into the classroom.
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Global: Out of sight – girls in mining
The story of a girl named Hadiza is not atypical, but the outcome is better than others. At the age of seven, she and her parents arrived in Komabangou, Niger, and together with her older brothers and sisters, she was put to work wet and dry panning for gold and removing rubble and ore from the pits.
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Upcoming events

18-20 October – Women Deliver, London, UK

19 October – UNGEI Panel at Women Deliver

12-13 November – UNGEI Global Advisory Committee meeting, Paris, France

14-16 November – EFA Working Group meeting, Paris, France

20 November – Universal Children's Day

Quick Facts

Botswana has made remarkable progress towards achieving universal primary education. Both the gross and net enrolment rates have been maintained at around 114 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively, in the past five years. Girls’ participation tends to be almost equal to boys’ participation at primary school and slightly higher in secondary school. The next challenges are to improve learning outcomes and provide a gender-sensitive environment that encourages girls to stay in school.

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Resource

Catalyst - Issue 1 - September 2007

A resource for academics worldwide on issues of development, Catalyst convenes scholars from across the world, development practitioners, advocates, activists and – most importantly – children themselves to explore themes relevant to the realization of gender equality in education.

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In Focus

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Girls Ed-Net

The fourth eDiscussion, on ‘Safety and Security in and around Schools: An integral component of access to education for girls’, has come to an end. See details at ungei.org.