EBM last year on December launched a groundbreaking campaign titled “Schoolgirl Newscasters,” significantly impacting the landscape of women’s education in Pakistan.
The campaign saw young schoolgirls who couldn’t read only two to three years ago deliver the news to Pakistanis from newsrooms on three leading news channels.
This initiative emerged in a context where educational opportunities for women were severely limited, as evidenced by Pakistan’s ranking at 145th out of 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report and the alarming statistic from UN Women that 53.6% of Pakistani women have restricted access to education.
Overcoming Traditional Barriers:
In a society where cultural, social, and economic factors often confine women to domestic roles or early marriages, the “Schoolgirl Newscasters” campaign aimed to shift these longstanding societal norms. The focus on improving literacy and education for girls was a direct challenge to these deep-seated barriers.
Achievements in Literacy and Awareness:
Since its launch, the campaign has reportedly been instrumental in increasing literacy rates by 4 points, representing a significant stride in changing perceptions and attitudes towards female education.
Empowerment Through Media:
A highlight of the campaign was during Human Rights Month, when two previously illiterate girls became newscasters on major Pakistani news channels. Their appearance in school uniforms, delivering news fluently in Urdu and English, was a powerful display of personal and educational growth, and a symbol of the transformative power of education.
Extensive Reach and Impact:
The campaign achieved an extraordinary reach of 150 million impressions across Pakistan, showcasing its broad impact. EBM’s dedication to gender equality in education is further reflected in its collaboration policy, which favors schools with equal gender representation.
Transforming School Enrollments:
As a result of the campaign, there has been a remarkable 57% increase in girls’ enrollment in over 160 schools, indicating a significant societal shift towards valuing female education.
A Path Forward:
The “Schoolgirl Newscasters” campaign, initiated by EBM marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of educational equality for women in Pakistan. It’s not only a step towards improved literacy and empowerment for Pakistani girls but also a symbol of hope for a more equitable and educated future. This initiative reminds us of the continued effort needed to ensure that every girl has the opportunity to receive the education she rightfully deserves.