Can you imagine living as a refugee – or as a stateless person with no nationality? Camps overflow with cramped quarters, no privacy, insufficient latrines, and scarce school options. Girls are tasked with gathering firewood. They easily become prey for assault when venturing out at dawn to gather wood.
Failure to resolve and prevent conflict is the number one cause of this displacement. And it’s the primary barrier preventing children – especially girls – from realizing their right to education.
Myanmar has been immersed in civil wars and conflict since the 1960’s. At that time the military junta enacted the Four Cuts policy, consisting of “attacking villages, forcing ethnic villagers to move into heavily controlled relocation sites, destroying their homes and crops, and planting landmines in their former villages and farms to prevent their return”.
Impacts on displaced children are severe – increased risk of human rights abuses, instability, detachment, chronic health and emotional problems, and lack of access to education. To reach schools, children are forced to cross potential land mined areas. Girls are at high risk of sexual assault, and twice as likely as boys to drop out of school.
Education is essential to fostering peace, reducing poverty, and increasing gender equality. Schools can provide life-saving information, such as landmine awareness and HIV and pregnancy prevention guidance.
Education instills hope – hope for safety – hope for food – hope for school. Hope is the little voice you hear whisper maybe – when it seems the entire world is shouting no.
Educational Empowerment fulfills that hope for Burmese girls by providing access to schools and books, incentives to stay in school, and support for teachers.
Let’s join together to ensure all girls and boys, especially those living in conflict areas, have hope for education and for a better life.
To take immediate action:
- Advocate for inclusion of women in conflict resolution and reconstruction efforts.
- Join Girls Globe conversation on Twitter @GirlsGlobe
- Become a champion for girls’ and women’s rights.
- Donate to Educational Empowerment at donate.
- Let your voices be heard for girls worldwide!
Educational Empowerment was created by women and for women and girls. EE promotes literacy and education for children, families and communities severely affected by poverty and injustice in Myanmar. By empowering women and girls through education, we position women in Myanmar to attain their equal rights.