International Women’s Day 2016


Women outnumbered men 10-2 at a BT Primary School of Nyamirama Building Committee meeting last year

Strongly committed to gender equality and the belief that education is a human and civil right, Building Tomorrow empowers women and men, and girls and boys to value education for all. Through its programs, Building Tomorrow works to address historic and cultural barriers so together girls and boys have access to safe, permanent and local schools where they can receive a quality education. Today, on International Women’s Day we celebrate the BT Fellows as they work to ensure quality education for all girls and boys. Below, Fellows Ruth and Stephen share about the interventions they employ to ensure gender equality in the schools and communities they serve.

Empowering Communities Through Fairness For All
Ruth, Fellows Cohort 1

“I believe all people deserve opportunities to fulfill their potential, in Buwasa community where these issues are highly relevant; women are deprived of an equal voice in decision making compared to men, even when they are taking up multiple community leadership roles.

I hold community sensitization meetings where I empower women to build social networks that provide greater opportunities to effect change in their communities, women rarely hold public leadership roles however I have managed to form committees in schools like the school management committee, the parents teachers association where women hold positions and are able to express their opinions, raising voices against violence and organizing community meetings. In teachers meetings, I have managed to build female teachers’ self-esteem and confidence through giving them a platform to speak in front of groups and share opinions and also involve female children to actively participate in class activities, lead debates and play games like ultimate with boys.”

Interventions Aimed at Bringing Gender Equity in Schools
Stephen, Fellows Cohort 1

“Society beliefs in general in Uganda devalue girls’ education as compared to boys. In many cultures, girls’ education is considered a waste of time. Many parents marry off their girls instead of taking them to school limiting their life chances. This short article focuses on some interventions we have taken in BT supported schools as Fellows to create gender equity.

We have sensitized parents on the importance of girls’ education in their communities in contradiction to only favoring boy’s education. We have pointed at issues such as reducing child marriage by 14% and early births by 10% if all girls complete primary education. We have gone further to point at improvement in personal incomes if girls attain formal education because they will be able to get qualifications to equally compete with men for formal jobs in the formal sector, including politics.

In the schools we have formed girls clubs where girls meet once a week to discuss about their concerns and seek guidance especially from the senior ladies in the schools. Sensitizing pupils and their parents about their rights has been a priority in our work. This has been done to both boys and girls to make sure they know their rights as children and how to claim them in case they are violated. We have sensitized them on rights such as, right to education, right to say no to child marriage, right to say no to child labor, right to a violent free life, such as physical, emotional, sexual abuse, and child neglect.”

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