When girls are denied the opportunity to education, it limits their chances to access other opportunities including decent employment, leadership and information and to make informed choices. Girls who drop out of school are also likely to end up in child marriages.
By punishing pregnant girls and denying them their education, the government is penalizing them on the basis of gender and is curtailing their futures so they are likely to remain trapped in a cycle of poverty. Around one in four females in Tanzania is illiterate.
The Tanzanian president’s directive that teenage mothers should not be allowed back in public schools is troubling. The dreams and aspirations of a young girl must not to be sacrificed on the altar of adolescent misbehaviour.
Sierra Leone bans pregnant girls from school. The government maintains that they are a bad influence to the rest of the students. This has had negative ramifications for many girls who desperately want to continue with their education. The ban is not only discriminatory but also exposes government failure to address widespread sexual violence against girls.
I want her to live in freedom and safety not in fear and confusion and not surely in a sanitized bubble where everything is rosy. What I want for her is a future where she will not be violated or put down simply because she is a girl.