Communication still failing girls in Zimbabwe

Last week, I was dismayed as I went through the headlines in our daily press. Particularly distressing was a story in the NewsDay of November 10, which reported that according to a report by Plan International, sixty-seven percent of Zimbabwean girls were failing to progress to secondary school. This was as a result of many factors among them – poverty, sexual abuse and cultural practices.

The government is clearly failing girls.

How was this happening in a country where the political mantra is all about educating and empowering the girl child? Zimbabwe has ratified the African Charter on the Rights of a Child and committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, both of which prioritise education. It made no sense.

But it finally became very clear to me.  The reason why we find ourselves in this situation is because no one is really communicating about the status of education, spotlighting all its nuances. And doing so consistently. Until the distressing headline, I do not remember seeing anything that warned of this critical and negative trend for girls in Zimbabwe.

Communication is the prime facilitator of change. Communication raises warning flags. When people get information, they gain knowledge. With knowledge, they are spurred to action; they are equipped to hold leaders accountable to commitments they have made.

At CommsConsult we are passionate about communicating.  We help organisations to think strategically about communicating their work. We ignite the curiosity to ask questions that should be asked. We also impart skills to tell stories to those that need to hear them, loud and clear.

November 2011

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