From left, Mira Rai, Irina Sthapit and Nikita Acharya during in a panel discussion during the launch of
KATHMANDU, Dec 1: A major study on adolescent girls’ empowerment has recommended building separate toilets and ensuring water facility in schools to improve education outcomes for adolescent girls in Nepal.
The study conducted independently by CAMRIS International at the request of USAID in Kathmandu has recommended full implementation of policies to create a gender sensitive learning environment that includes the minimum enabling condition of separate girls’ and boys’ toilets plus water in secondary schools to improve education outcomes for girl children.
The study was conducted to assess the barriers to and opportunities for adolescent girls’ and boys’ access to secondary school education, health and safety. It also aimed at mapping current donors and civil society interventions targeting 10 to 19-year-old girls to affect their access to and completion of secondary school. It aimed at providing recommendations for interventions to support the US global strategy to empower adolescent girls, including a set of 3-6 districts where interventions could be most impactful.
The assessment study has recommended making provisions of female teachers, providing training to teachers, introducing a national vocational education policy and building gender focal points to improve the educational outcomes. The survey has recommended strengthening child clubs, scaling up existing community efforts, engaging mothers, fathers and guardians to end child, early and forced marriage and discriminatory gender norms.
The study has called for minimizing the stress of menstruation for girls in schools, raising awareness about existing adolescent sexual and reproductive health services, tailoring programs to meet adolescents’ needs, supporting and hiring more women health staff and developing and enforcing guidelines regarding physical privacy and promotion of confidentiality measures among health service providers to improve menstrual and adolescent sexual and reproductive health.
The findings of the study released amidst a function Thursday also recommended increasing the visibility of diverse role models and scaling-up mentoring programs, matching vocational and skill-based education to adolescents’ aspirations to provide adolescent girls with opportunities for their workforce development. Among other things, it has recommended preventing and responding to harassment, abuse, and assault in schools to stop gender-based violence.