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The Girl Child Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Ntwale Siulanda, Zambia Oct 11, 2006
Human Rights   Opinions


The Girl Child In 2004, the Zambian girl child brought pride and some form of recognition for Zambia. Once unknown females won first prizes in international competitions such as the Big Brother Africa Competition and the Project Fame Competition. Cherise Makubale and Lindiwe Allamu, both won competitions which have seen Zambia become recognized as having well behaved and talented women-“Girl Childs.”
But if we sit down and analyze the 2000 Census results on Education Statistics, it is a shame to learn that the census identified that males are more literate than females in Zambia. Since education plays a vital role in the development of any country, even though education on itself does not guarantee success- it is still very important for all females to have some form of education so that at least they are able to read and write and thus express themselves effectively and when given the opportunity of traveling around the world as Zambia’s ambassadors et cetera.

The results revealed that about one in every two (55 percent) of Zambians aged five years and over, can read and write in any language (Literate). Urban residents are about one and a half times more likely to read and write compared to rural residents (74 percent compared with 45 percent respectively). When the results were disaggregated by gender, it was discovered that females are less likely than males to read and write in any language.

At national level, about 61 percent of males and 50 percent of females are literate. In rural areas, about 52 percent of males and 39 percent of females are literate. A similar pattern was observed in urban areas, where over three quarters (77 percent) of males and seven out of ten (70 percent) of females were literate.

This year 2005 is the deadline for the Millennium Development Goal (MDG), seeking gender equality in education worldwide. In 2000, eight Millennium Development Goals were adopted by the International Community as a way of measuring the development progress in all countries up to 2015. The second Millennium Development Goal (MDG2) seeks to achieve universal primary education for all and the third Millennium Development Goal (MDG3) is concerned with the right of women and girls to enjoy equal education opportunities with boys and men.

Even though women are seen as the “weaker sex”, they are and should be part and parcel of the process of development in that women and girls have abilities skills and talents which can help forge any country towards development.



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Ntwale Siulanda

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