Through a Girl’s Eyes:

Interlinkages in the challenges faced and hope promised across the SDG’s

The barriers to education for girls and young women illustrate the interlinkages across the SDGs, as well as the necessity of working across sectors toward finding solutions within any one of the Goals.

Barriers to education are economic, cultural, religious, and sometimes structural. For girls living in poverty or fragile contexts, the gap is even wider as they spend their before-and-after-school time gathering water, collecting firewood, cooking over wood or charcoal fires, caring for younger siblings, and washing clothes in a river or canal, instead of studying. In disaster zones, a girl’s return to school is further compromised by the greater economic and household responsibilities placed on her as well as the increased vulnerability to gender-based violence. And in war or conflict, her journey to school and presence at school can increase these risks and even put her very life at risk. Over time, as a girl whose daily survival revolves around navigating these barriers grows toward adulthood, her grades descend, her attendance drops, and eventually her name no longer appears on the roll. We need to change attitudes and we need to empower girls, but we also must reach out to other sectors in society in order to change the conditions that create these barriers. Clean water, green energy sources, health and hygiene, equitable jobs for families, infrastructure, safety, peace — these need to improve in order for access to education for girls to improve.

To remove these barriers and achieve “access to learning for all”, Governments, NGOs, stakeholders and the private sector — across borders, cultures, and sectors — all need to work together.

The images captured in the photography of the girls in rural Haiti, show how each of the SDGs connects to their lives and to their hope for a better future.