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여자어린이 교육 장려활동에 영향력 있는 지도자들도 동참

2007.08.14

* Working with Niger’s traditional chiefs to promote girls’ education
* 15 May 2007


A chief being coronated in southern Niger’s Tibiri region….
Presiding over the ceremony, Grand Chief Abdou Bala Marafa, one of Niger’s most influential leaders. In this country of extreme poverty and deeply rooted customs, UNICEF has worked with more than 200 traditional chiefs to address issues of child protection and survival. Today the Chief is travelling to a nearby village where he’ll lead an awareness campaign to help improve the living conditions of his people. Issues such as immunization, HIV and AIDS as well as early marriage and girls’ education are discussed.

SOT: MARIAMA MOURIMA, Project Officer UNICEF Niger: 
“Today’s awareness campaign was geared toward the betterment of the living conditions of women and children. In particular, in the areas of education, health and nutrition, water and hygiene, and also to advance their social status.”

The education of boys and girls, disadvantaged girls in particular, has been a core aspect of UNICEF’s fight against poverty. In Niger, the rights of women are limited and that’s reflected in their access to education. Only 4 out of 10 girls are enrolled in primary school, 2 out of 10 attend secondary school and only 3 out of 100 make it to high school. Girls sometimes as young nine are married: banning early marriage is a key factor to promote girls education. 

To reach more remote communities, Chief Abdou Bala Marafa created the Good Conduct Brigades, a group of specially trained men and women who travel to villages to spread these important messages. UNICEF provided the Brigades with motorcycles to increase their reach.

SOT: SAHAMATOU, Village Women’s Association: “Today in the village, they talked about HIV/AIDS, birth registrations as well as education. The education of boys as well as girls.”
Festivities begin after the awareness campaign, which will help empower women and make a difference in their lives.



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