PEAS Series: What Works in Girls' Education (Part 2)

As PEAS students head back-to-school, PEAS are excited to have launched their new campaign #everygirlinschool.

With 129 million girls out of school around the world and only 1 in 3 African children accessing secondary school, PEAS want to get #everygirlinschool today and are launching a blog series on what works in girls’ education.

 

Targeted support through Girls’ Clubs in PEAS Schools 

"Evidence shows Girls’ Clubs help promote girls’ education by providing a safe space for girls to come together, learn life skills, build confidence and improve their school performance. Girls’ Clubs can also improve education outcomes by supporting changes in attitudes and reducing gender-discriminatory practices such as child marriage; helping girls to increase their confidence and aspirations; and increasing life skills." (Marcus et al, 2017).

Why we run Girls’ Clubs

We believe in the power of Girls’ Clubs to empower students in fighting barriers to education, promote their wellbeing and increase awareness about the importance of girls’ education. The clubs are girls-led and girl-driven to encourage more open discussion. Boys also join in the clubs, to engage all students as advocates for gender equality. Senior Woman and Senior Man Teachers in PEAS schools facilitate all girls’ club sessions, giving guidance and support so that they can run effectively. The clubs are run across all of our schools and offer a place to discuss issues such as child marriage, gendered roles in the family, and healthy relationships. In addition to life skills lessons, girls’ clubs are also a space where students can discuss menstrual health and hygiene with teachers and peers, which can be a significant barrier to girls’ attendance.

They also give opportunities for young people to show leadership through presentations and role-playing to help build girls’ confidence. While peer-to-peer support sessions are a platform for girls to safely share concerns with their peers. The clubs also intend to increase girls’ aspirations by linking them with mentors and positive role models in the community.  

 

What does our evidence show?

Evidence indicates our Girls’ Clubs build confidence, which is linked with higher learning outcomes. Teachers linked Girls’ Clubs to increased confidence and self-esteem among girls and found that empowerment messages communicated through the clubs positively influenced girls’ beliefs on gender equality. Almost 97.5% of students surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that they were confident in their ability to succeed at school. Our Girls’ Clubs were also perceived to support shifts in communities' mindsets about gender and provided peer-to-peer support and role model opportunities for girls.

Teachers attributed Girls’ Clubs’ efforts to spread awareness about the importance of girls’ education to a change in the community’s attitude. It was also found that Girls' Clubs were an appropriate way to build girls' self-esteem, wellbeing, and aspirations, by offering peer-to-peer support and role modelling.

 

What do we plan to do next?

We will use the promising evidence around Girls’ Clubs in PEAS Uganda schools to strengthen our Girls’ Clubs in PEAS Zambia schools. We want to incorporate more practical activities in our sessions and work with external organisations in Zambia to bring in role models and female experts to Girls’ Clubs. We are proud of our achievements so far and want to ensure we build on this best practice to increase confidence among girls, and promote beliefs of gender equality.

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about our approach to PEAS’ Girls Clubs, please contact info@peas.org.uk. If you would like to support our work to empower adolescent girls, please contact partnerships@peas.org.uk.