"Getting an education has enabled me to live a better life and help my community. I hope to take this idea to different rural remote parts of the country where girls still lack access to basic education”
Although gender parity in school enrolment has been achieved in Nepal, girls tend to drop out of school, especially in higher grades. Factors include living in remote districts, coming from low-income families, early marriage, gender-based violence, and poor learning environments. Women also suffer significantly from lower literacy rates than men.
UNESCO is tackling this wide-ranging challenge by establishing the Female Champions Fellowship Programme, providing a leadership platform to young women across the country. The Programme provides educational opportunities to support girls in leading community-based projects. The champions design and lead projects on empowering adolescent girls at community and school level through campaigning flash mobs, social media survey, case stories, peer learning and volunteerism.
The training consists of a series of motivation-enhancing exercises such as campaigning strategies, project management, personal development and team building, as well as lectures on various social issues such as, but not limited to, social inclusion and gender equality, sustainable development, women rights and empowerment.
To date, over 150 women, aged 19-25, have strengthened their community mobilization skills, delivering awareness-raising activities directly reaching hundreds of thousands of adolescent girls, students, teachers and community members.
Going forward to maintain the programme’s sustainability, the champions will themselves work with marginalized adolescent girls and train them to become champions in the communities.