The forum for African women Educationalist was established in Nigeria in 1996 tthrough the help of Chief (Mrs) Iyabo Anisulowo when she was the Minister of State for Education. It was auspicious that she was the Minister then when FAWE was being established all over Africa and she used her office to ensure that it took root in Nigeria. The Forum has since been established in many states of the federation.
Who We Are
In 1992, an estimated 24 million school-age girls were out of school in sub-Saharan African. Five African women Ministers of Education came together to find ways of addressing this significant unmet need. These visionary women founded FAWE, a network of female and male educationalists who would advocate for girls’ education across Africa. FAWE’s rationale is to promote education for African girls not only because of the direct benefits that accrue to girls who attend school but also because of the extensive benefits for society at large. Educating girls reduces fertility rates, reduces child and infant mortality rates, reduces child and infant mortality rates, improves child nutrition and health, increases economic productivity and growth, and protects girls from abuse, exploitation and HIV/AIDS.
What We Do
FAWE improves access to education as well as quality of education, inspiring girls to stay in school and perform well. FAWE’s work is to encourage governments, international organizations and local communities to enact policies and provide positive learning environments that treat girls and boys equally. FAWE’s priorities include:
- Addressing constraint to access, retention and performance in the educational process
- Undertaking advocacy to raise awareness and influence policy, practice and attitudes
- Developing gender-responsive models for training teachers, improving learning processes and environments, and empowering girls.
- Facilitating the replication and mainstreaming of FAWE’s best practices into national education systems.
How We Work
Over the past 19 years, FAWE has expanded its programmes and developed a strong geographic presence across the continent, working through its National Chapters in 33 African countries. FAWE is a model of pan-African collaboration. Its wide geographic presence provides a unique forum to leverage economies of scale and share knowledge, especially among African governments and ministries of education. FAWE provides a model for working directly with African governments and policy-makers to obtain large-scale impact. Extensive collaboration, partnerships and collective effort are integral to FAWE’s success. We work closely with communities, schools, civil society, NGOs and ministries to achieve gender equity and equality in education through targeted programmes. We encourage our partners to enact policies and provide positive learning environments that treat girls and boys equally.
Why We Do It
Since the 1990 World Declaration on Education for all (EFA), both education and gender equality have been recognized as fundamental requirements for development. From 2000, other major protocols such as the World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have advocated strongly for access to basic education for all children and for gender equity in education. Yet twenty years after the Declaration, sub-Saharan African accounts for about 43 percent of the world’s out-of-school children. Almost 29 million African children of primary school age are still not enrolled in school. More than half of these – 54 percent – are girls, many of whom have never attended school at all.
Outcomes of Our Work
Today, FAWE is the leading NGO in Africa that directly addresses issues relating to girls’ education. Over the years, we have built awareness and consensus on the social and economic advantages of girls’ education through our advocacy work. As a result of FAWE’s advocacy, many African governments have and continue to adopt gender-positive polices such as free primary education, re-entry polices for adolescent mothers, scholarships for disadvantaged girls, gender-responsive pedagogy and appointment of more female teachers. This has led to increased rates of girls’ enrolment; retention and completion of school in countries in which FAWE’s National Chapters operate.