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Burundi, 6 May 2011: ‘Education for All’ week puts girls’ education and women’s empowerment in focus

BUJUMBURA, 6 May 2011 - In partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Vocational and Professional Training and Literacy, civil society  and development partners, Burundi joined the rest of the world to commemorate the ‘Education for All’ Action Week.

The celebrations that brought on board girls and boys, women and men in all 17 provinces of the country focused on the role of girls’ and women’s empowerment in Burundi’s transition to peace and sustainable development.

“A well-educated woman better understands the issue of family planning and is able to manage household resources in a more efficient way,” said the National Schools Inspector of the Ministry of Education, Mrs Corithe Nzohabonayo. “Educating girls means educating the Nation.”

In the past decade, the Government of Burundi has embarked on ensuring the participation of women in Burundi’s public life. Around 30 percent of women are now involved in public service at the top level in the country.

Since the introduction of free primary Education in 2005, the Government of Burundi, with the support of UNICEF and other technical and financial partners, has made significant progress in achieving gender parity at the primary school level. Nonetheless, as children moving towards the higher educational ladder, girls are much underrepresented. Currently, the secondary enrolment ratio for girls is 15 percent, compared to 21 percent for boys.

As emphasized throughout the 2011 campaign, education brings a multitude of benefits to girls, women, their family, community and ultimately to their country. Educating girls is the most effective tool to reduce infant and maternal mortality, and to combat HIV/AIDS, child trafficking, exploitation and violence of which they are often the silent victims.

The ‘Education for All’ Action Week is celebrated across the world. In Burundi the activities include: community dialogue on girls’ right to education; the importance of female literacy, sport and cultural activities; expert panels; and the dissemination of education materials.

The celebrations will be held from 3 to 8 May 2011 and the dialogue on girls’ education and women’s participation in leadership will continue until the end of the year.



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