Global Resources

Life Skills, Sexual Maturation and Sanitation: What's (not) Happening in our Schools? An Explanatory Study from Zimbabwe

Publisher: Women's Law Centre, University of Zimbabwe
Publication Date: Sep 2004
Education is a key part of development for both men and women and also for the emancipation of women. Yet in Zimbabwe, although girls start at near parity with boys in terms of entry into primary school, they suffer much higher rates of attrition. Boys also drop out of school and do not attain the maximum levels of education. Teaching children life skills may encourage more children to stay at school. Being taught how to cope with life after school in often unfavourable economic environments will hold more appeal than a largely academic curriculum. One life skill girls need to learn is how to cope with menstruation. Girls generally have limited information about menstruation, poor access to sanitary wear and face taunts from boys and unsympathetic attitudes from teachers. Often there are inadequate facilities for washing or for disposing of sanitary protection materials. This has a profound affect on girls' educational experience. Improving sanitation facilities and accommodating girls' menstruating needs will encourage more girls to continue their schooling.