“Receiving the Kravis Prize made an enormous difference to FAWE. It significantly raised and continues to raise FAWE’s profile and visibility, especially in the West. For instance, after we received teh Prize in 2008, FAWE joined the CGI initiative and pledged to support the empowerment of women through various commitments to education.”
Hendrina Doroba, Executive Director of FAWE
In 1992, female Ministers of Education from five African countries established the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) to advocate for the education of girls across Africa. At that time, an estimated 24 million school-age girls were out of school in Sub-Saharan Africa. FAWE’s founders recognized the direct personal benefits that accrue to girls who attend school, as well as the extensive indirect benefits for society at large. Since its founding, FAWE has expanded its programs and developed a strong geographic presence across the continent, working in 32 African countries.
Current Operations of FAWE
FAWE is the leading non-governmental organization in Africa that directly addresses issues relating to girls’ education. It improves access to education as well as quality of education, inspiring girls to stay in school and learn. FAWE’s mission is to promote gender equity and equality in Africa by fostering positive policies, practices, and attitudes towards girls’ education. FAWE’s current programs are organized around four interventions:
- Addressing constraints to access, retention and performance in the educational process.
- Undertaking advocacy to raise awareness and influence policymaking.
- Developing gender-responsive models for training teachers and improving learning environments.
- Facilitating the replication and mainstreaming of best practices. In response to FAWE’s advocacy, for example, many African governments have adopted gender positive policies such as free primary education, re-entry policies for adolescent mothers, scholarships for needy girls, and appointment of more female teachers.
Approach and Distinguishing Features
Extensive collaboration, teamwork, and partnerships are integral to FAWE’s success. Internally, FAWE engenders a spirit of teamwork and collective leadership among diverse individuals. Externally, FAWE provides a model for working directly with governments and policymakers to obtain large-scale impact. FAWE is also a model of pan-African collaboration. FAWE’s wide geographic presence provides a unique forum to leverage economies of scale and share knowledge, especially among African governments and Ministries of Education. The organization recently established presence in many areas experiencing or transitioning from conflict, including Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Angola and Congo (Brazzaville).
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