5 things that help keep girls in school

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Classrooms around the world are missing something HUGE – 62 million girls. Every day, 62 million girls face unique challenges that keep them out of school, and from achieving the education they deserve.

Many of the barriers holding girls back may surprise you, but for girls in developing countries, they are unfortunately a reality. See how these 5 things can help tackle some of the daily issues that keep girls out of school, and empower them with a better, brighter future!

1. Girls-only toilets

A building with girls’ only toilet stalls.When schools aren’t equipped with safe, private and clean girls-only facilities, girls have to go to the bathroom in the bushes, fields or even in public – an embarrassing experience and one that can jeopardize their safety and health.

2. Menstrual hygiene products

Teen girl holding up an unused menstrual pad.In many developing countries, the lack of menstrual health information and resources can leave many girls scared and confused during their periods. In Uganda, Plan’s working with Afripads to change this! Students – girls and boys – are learning about sexual reproductive health, and girls are learning how to manage their menstrual cycles with reusable, eco-friendly pads.

3. Bicycles

A girl sitting on a bicycle.For girls living in remote areas, getting to school can take hours by foot and walking alone in the early hours of the morning or late hours of the evening can put their safety at risk.

15-year-old Chas from Cambodia used to walk 4 kilometres each way, but with Plan’s support, she received a bicycle and can now get to school faster and safer!

[SEE ALSO: Teenager from Burkina Faso gets girls’ education rolling]

4. Light

Teen girl reading under a bright light.In countries around the world, daughters are traditionally responsible for cooking, cleaning and other household chores. So, when girls come home from school, they often can’t complete their homework when it’s still light outside. Without electricity, girls have to do their homework by candlelight, or wake up extra early the next morning.

In Myanmar, Plan is tackling this issue and helping to provide communities with sustainable energy sources by introducing solar-energy lights. For girls like 14-year-old Ma Wai Wai, this has made a big difference!

“I’m able to do my lessons under this light,” shared Ma Wai Wai. “I am not dizzy like I was with a candle. The solar light supports me during my studying and reading time.”

5. Scholarships

Three teens sitting on a bench at school.

Meeson (centre) was able to continue her education with a scholarship from Plan!

When faced with poverty, many families in developing countries will often pull their daughters out of school because they see less value in educating them than boys. Plan is working to change the mindset in communities across Laos by supporting girls’ education.

Through scholarships, girls like 17-year-old Meeson are getting the chance to complete their education, and show their families and communities their full potential!

“Education is the most important thing in my life. It is a basic foundation for the future.” shared Meeson. “Girls and boys are equal. We all have potential.”

[SEE ALSO: The right to learn: 3 girls overcome the odds to go to school]

Spread some girl power!

Unlock the incredible potential of girls around the world with Plan Canada’s girl power Gift of Hope. This gift is about offering girls nourishment, education and protection – everything they need to reach their full potential. Give the gift of girl power today!