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Gender inequality and empowering girls through education

Gender equality is a human right, but our world faces a persistent gap in access to opportunities and decision-making power for women and men. Globally, women and girls have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education, greater health and safety risks, and less political representation.

Ms Rethabile Sonibare (RS), the Co-Founder and Director with our implementing partner Molo Mhlaba in South Africa, shares some insights with Acronis Cyber Foundation (ACF).

(ACF): Why is there still gender inequality in education globally?

(RS) I think there is a lack of commitment from global leaders to aggressively advance education for all is a major challenge. Cultural norms and practices in different parts of the world, especially rural communities, also impacts the access women and girls have to quality education.

(ACF) In your opinion, how do our individual actions, conversations, behaviors and mindsets have an impact on our larger society?

(RS) It takes one person saying or doing something that challenges inequality for change to happen. That is why the actions of individuals can build mighty movements that can advocate for social policy change, delivery of services and behaviour change in communities. Never underestimate the power of one person’s voice, action and its potential for a ripple effect.

(ACF) 2021’s International Women’s Day slogan is #ChooseToChallenge. What does it mean to you?

(RS) The theme of #ChooseToChallenge is a clarion call for women to keep disrupting the status quo as we continue to push for equal pay, equal rights, equal participation across all fields of society so that future generations never need to fight the battles fought before us and by us today.

(ACF) Do you think it is still important for us to celebrate International Women’s Day?

(RS) International Women’s Day for me is an important marker to the global community on the milestones achieved for women’s rights and progress but also a reminder of how far we still need to go.

( ACF) What is the most important message you want to send out to young women everywhere?

(RS) Anyone from anywhere, no matter their circumstance has the ability to choose to challenge just one social ill. International Women’s Day is just a reminder of how small actions can make a global impact.

The school is projected to be completed in October 2021. Once completed, the campus will cater to 200 children, facilitated by 22 teachers and 10 support staff each day. It will have four classrooms for children aged 3-6, and 6-9, as well as a robotics and computer lab hall. The school will also provide a pastoral care program with an in-house social worker and educational psychologist, to help ensure the physical and emotional welfare of the students.

We hope this school can raise the next generation of women leaders who will navigate a variety of social and cultural contexts and remain committed to the development of South Africa! As empowered girls today and as the future leaders tomorrow, they will address this century’s biggest challenges.

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