‘Her Turn’, a new report from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, reveals that refugee girls at secondary level are only half as likely to enrol in school as their male peers, even though girls make up half of the school-age refugee population.
Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
“It is time for the international community to recognise the injustice of denying refugee girls and women an education,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “These findings are a global wake-up call, and I urge all to join us in demanding: ‘It’s her turn’.”
UNHCR’s report reveals that social and cultural conventions often result in boys being prioritised over girls to attend school. Poor facilities such as a lack of appropriate toilet facilities and menstrual supplies can block refugee girls’ access to schools. Adding to the challenge, the cost of books, uniforms and the journey to school can be prohibitive for refugee families.
“Finding solutions to the challenges refugee girls face as they strive to go to school requires action right across the board – from national education ministries to teacher training institutions, in communities and classrooms,” added Grandi. “There are formidable barriers to overcome. We are calling for an international effort to turn the tide.”
Only 61 percent of refugee children have access to primary education, compared to an international average of 91 percent. At secondary level, 23 percent of refugee adolescents go to school, compared to 84 percent globally.