How Community Engagement and Local Community Organisations Contribute to Equitable Participation of Out-of-School Girls Affected by CEFM?

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Ferreira, Frances
Kamal, Mostafa A
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Open University Malaysia (OUM)

Child marriage denies a girl her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities…” (Government of Canada – UNICEF, 2014). Millions of girls are forced into early marriage for economic and cultural reasons and denied the opportunity to education. If resource-poor families are to invest in the education of their children, boys receive priority. However, if education is both affordable and flexible, girls too can have the opportunity to participate without disrupting their responsibilities in the home and the family. If girls are taught the skills necessary for livelihoods, they can be a major source of supplementing the family income. CEFM is a deep-rooted problem, and it is therefore imperative to mobilize communities with its deep-rooted cultures, traditions and practices, to demonstrate the benefits of education for girls. Within the context of sustainable development, it is critical to raise awareness among the communities that child marriage has wide ranging negative consequences for development and that allowing girls having education and training can add enormous value to the society as well as their personal and family lives. The study aims at identifying the role of community engagement and local organisations to ensure equitable access of marginalised and out-of-school girls to education and training and will explore: (1) Cross-country variation in the causes, such as CEFM, that leads to girls drop out of school. (2) The role of community engagement to ensure equitable participation and access of the girls to learning; and(3)The role of local organisations to decrease girls’ vulnerability to CEFM and improve equitable access to relevant and quality education and learning. The study will be based on data collected from surveys which will be administered on 150 out of school girls, affected by CEFM in both urban and rural areas of - Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. A structured questionnaire will be used for data collection. // Paper ID 364

Women and Girls,Equality,Rural Communities