“To Educate a Girl is to Educate a Nation”

From 3 to 4 March Kinshasa hosted the second edition of the World Francophone Women’s Forum at the People’s Palace.

We, the child reporters, were there to interview different women and girls about obstacles to education.

In the “Women and Education” workshop we raised the issue of sex education which represents a significant educational challenge for girls.

It is important for women to understand the risks associated with child pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. If they are not aware of the risks, their health is endangered and, what’s more, they cannot pass on the knowledge to their children.

Obstacles to Education

Secondly, we note the importance of educating and training girls who are hindered by so many obstacles, such as the belief that only boys should go to school and that it is not necessary to invest in girls’ education.

Three of the interviews in particular caught our attention:

The interview with Rachel Mwanza, a former street child who told us her story: “We are going to try to change things here in Kinshasa. Women need to be able to work as well so we no longer have children on the street.”

Then the interview with Francoise Egenda, the Representative of UN Women in the DRC, who explained to us how “a girl can participate in the reconstruction of peace, in particular by using this forum to protest against war.”

And finally, the interview with Marie Ange Lukiana, the former Minister for Gender, Family and Children, who told us that, “This forum is a great collaborative achievement for women in the French-speaking world” and ended by saying, “Whenever dialogue takes place, it’s a good thing.”

I find these experiences very informative because they show that girls’ education is essential for the development of the country.

I invite all political actors to commit themselves to this cause and ensure that all girls go to school.

I end on a quotation used by Merveille in her contribution to the workshop: “To educate a girl is to educate a nation.

Find all of the child reporters’ interviews from the World Francophone Women’s Forum :

https://www.youtube.com/user/unicefrdc2012?feature=watch

We would like to thank the European Union for its support and commitment to gender equality.

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Eunice

Ancienne Enfant Reporter de Kinshasa, Eunice a représenté à plusieurs reprises les enfants de la RDC et de l’Afrique Centrale lors de conférences internationales.

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