International Conference for African Traditional and Religious Leaders on Keeping Girls in School in Africa.

Keeping Girls in School conference was a Social Transformation to Empower Girls & Women for Sustained Maternal Health, Cultivating Traditional and Religious Leaders as Advocates and Champions for Keeping Girls in Schools in Africa


The conference was co-organized and supported by the Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), Girl Child Concerns, UNICEF and UNFPA.

This initiative aims to start a social movement in Africa that will rapidly set the stage for leap-frogging improvement in maternal and child health and the status of women and girls in Africa. This initiative engages traditional and religious leaders who shape social norms, culture and behaviour of a mass majority of people in Africa, regardless of class, religion or gender. This was designed on the premise that Traditional and religious leaders are not only respected and trusted by the mass majority of adults who do not send their children to school, but they also have a significant influence on government officials and political leaders on the continent. They are central to defining the position of women and girls and its subsequent consequences in Africa.

The conference brought together influential Traditional and Religious leaders from over 25 African countries to discuss the importance of keeping girls in school as an important strategy for improving maternal and child health, empowering women and girls as well as developing communities and the continent.  The conference also provided an opportunity for the leaders to articulate and develop strategies that they will use to promote keeping girls in school including how to motivate parents and caregivers to be deeply committed to ensuring all girls in their constituencies remain and complete at least twelve (12) years of secondary education. At the end of the four-day conference, the traditional and religious leaders of Africa were cultivated as advocates for keeping girls in school as champions and a group responsible for the success of the agenda.


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