Right to Inclusive Development of the Girl Child in Africa

  • Olanike Adelakun-Odewale


Many African economies are developing fast but concerns abound about the quality of this development. Large groups of poor and vulnerable people have remained excluded from this development. Sustained poverty reduction and economic growth require inclusive development that allows women to contribute to and benefit from the development process. This chapter establishes the need to include the girl child in the African development process through quality education. This chapter examines whether, given equal opportunities as the boy child, the female child can contribute to sustainable poverty reduction in Africa. This chapter assesses the legal framework of the protection and development of the girl child in a bid to determine the adequacy of laws to ensure inclusive development of the girl child in Africa.


  1. ACHPR. 2016. African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ Ratification Table, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Accessed 17 June 2016.
  2. Action Aid. 2016. Transforming Education for Girls in Tanzania: Baseline Research Summary Report. Accessed 2 Nov 2016.
  3. Alabi, T., M. Bahah, and S.O. Alabi. 2014. The Girl-Child: A Sociological View on the Problems of Girl-Child Education in Nigeria. European Scientific Journal 10 (2): 393–409.Google Scholar
  4. Ali, Ifzal, and Hyun Hwa Son. 2007. Defining and Measuring Inclusive Growth: Application to the Philippines. ERD Working Paper Series No. 98, ADB: Manila.Google Scholar
  5. Ali, Ifzal, and Juzhong Zhuang. 2007. Inclusive Growth Toward a Prosperous Asia: Policy Implications. ERD Working Paper 97, ADB: Manila. 3.Google Scholar
  6. Asuagbor, Lucy. 2016. Inter-session Activity Report of Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa (58th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 6–20 April 2016). Accessed 24 July 2016.
  7. Asuagbor, Lucy. 2016. Status of Implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Accessed 10 Sept 2016.
  8. Ayandele, E.A. 1979. African Historical Studies. London: Frank Cass.Google Scholar
  9. Beiter, Klaus Dieter. 2005. The Protection of the Right to Education by International Law. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.Google Scholar
  10. Callaway, H. 1975. Indigenous Education in Yoruba Society. In Conflict and Harmony in Education in Tropical Africa, ed. G.G. Brown, and M. Hiskett, 26–38. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.Google Scholar
  11. Department for International Development. 2005. Girls’ Education: Towards a Better Future for All (January 2005). Accessed 30 Oct 2015.
  12. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit. 2016. Female Genital Mutilation and Education. Accessed 12 May 2016.
  13. Dewey, John. 1938. Experience and Education, 86. London: Collier Macmillan.Google Scholar
  14. Edmonds, Eric V. 2005. Understanding Sibling Differences in Child Labour. Journal of Population Economics 19 (4): 795–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fafunwa, Baba A. 1974. History of Education in Nigeria. London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd.Google Scholar
  16. Fernando, Nimal. 2008. Rural Development Outcomes and Drivers: An Overview and Some Lessons. Manila: Asian Development Bank.Google Scholar
  17. Gage, Anastasia, Elisabeth Sommerfelt, and Andrea L. Piani. 1997. Household Structure and Childhood Immunization in Niger and Nigeria Demography 34 (2): 295–309. doi: 10.2307/2061706. Accessed 10 Dec 2015.
  18. Good, C.U. (ed.). 1945. Dictionary of Education. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  19. Hari, Patricia. 2016. Parents’ and Community Attitudes towards Girls’ Participation in and Access to Education and Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT) Subjects. Accessed 1 Nov 2016.
  20. Hillman, Arye L., and Eva Jenkner. 2004. Educating Children in Poor Countries. Economic Issue 33. International Monetary Fund. Accessed 1 Nov 2016.
  21. Human Rights Watch. 2016. Ending Child Marriage in Africa: Opening the Door for Girls’ Education, Health, and Freedom from Violence. December 9, 2015. Accessed 1 Nov 2016.
  22. Igube, R.B. 2004. Gender Security and Advancement: The Case of Inequality and Inequity. Paper presented at the round table discourse by Higher Link Educational Programme, The British Council, Change Managers International, University of Abuja, March 8, in Abuja.Google Scholar
  23. Jekayinfa, A.A., and D.O. Kolawole. 2008. Conceptual Background to the History of Education in Nigeria. Perspective on the History of Education in Nigeria. Accessed 10 Jan 2016.
  24. Kambarami, Maureen. 2006. Femininity, Sexuality and Culture: Patriarchy and Female Subordination in Zimbabwe. Africa Regional Sexuality Resource Centre. Accessed 30 Oct 2016.
  25. Kambhampati, Uma S., and Raji Rajan. 2008. The ‘Nowhere’ Children: Patriarchy and the Role of Girls in India’s Rural Economy. The Journal of Development Studies 44 (9): 1309–1341. doi: 10.1080/00220380802264978. Accessed 13 March 2015.
  26. Muriithi, Caroline Muthoni. 2013. An analysis of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. In Journey to Equality: 10 Years of the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, ed. Combo, Brenda, Rainatou Sow and Faiza Jama Mohamed (Equality Now, 2013), 44.Google Scholar
  27. Ndofirepi, Amasa Philip and Elizabeth Spiwe Ndofirepi. 2012. (E)ducation or (e)ducation in Traditional African Societies? A Philosophical Insight. Stud Tribes Tribals 10 (1): 13–28.Google Scholar
  28. Ocho, Lawrence Offie. 2005. Issues and Concerns in Education and Life, Enugu: Institute of Development Studies.Google Scholar
  29. Offorma, Grace C. 2008. The Boy Child Education in the South-Eastern States of Nigeria: Problems and Prospects. Paper Presented at the Convention of the Unity Schools Old Students Association, USOSA, Enugu, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  30. Okeke, E.A.C., U.M. Nzewi, and Z. Njoku. 2008. “Tracking School Age Children’s Education Status in UNICEF A-Field states” in UNICEF—A Field State. Enugu: UNICEF.Google Scholar
  31. Ondiek, Concellia Aoko. 2010. The Persistence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and its Impact on Women’s Access to Education and Empowerment: A Study of Kuria District, Nyanza Province, Kenya. PhD dissertation, University of South Africa.Google Scholar
  32. Onuora-Oguno, Azubike. 2015. Enhancing Equality and Eliminating Discrimination: Girl Child Empowerment and Access to Quality Basic Education in Nigeria. Yonsei Law Journal 6 (1): 75–102.Google Scholar
  33. Osagiobare, Osamiro Emmanuel. 2015. Rita Osayemwenre Oronsaye and Victor Ekwukoma, “Influence of Religious and Cultural Beliefs on Girl-Child Educational Aspiration in Nigeria”. Journal of Educational and Social Research 5 (2): 165–170.Google Scholar
  34. Oyigbenu, Amirikpa. 2010. Girl-Child Education and Nigeria’s Development Agenda: A Literary Perspective. African Research Review 4 (2): 418–432.Google Scholar
  35. Parsons, Jeffery, et al. 2015. Economic Impacts of Child Marriage: A Review of the Literature. The Review of Faith and International Affairs. 13(3): 12–22. doi: 10.1080/15570274.2015.1075757. Accessed 2 Nov 2016.
  36. Psacharopoulos, George, and Anthony, Patrinos. 2002. Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update. Policy Research Working Paper No. 2881, Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  37. Igube, R.B. 2004b. Women and Gender Studies, 4. Abuja: Sir Kuf Ventures Limited.Google Scholar
  38. Rauniyar Ganesh, and Ravi Kanbur. 2009. Inclusive Growth and Inclusive Development: A Review and Synthesis of Asian Development Bank Literature. Asian Development Bank Occasional Paper No. 8, 2009. Accessed 7 March 2016.
  39. Right to Education Project Factsheet: United Republic of Tanzania. 2016. Accessed 10 Aug 2016.
  40. Right to Education: Country Factsheet, Kenya, 2004, Right to Education Project. Accessed 15 August 2016.
  41. Shoola, Toni. 2013. The Effect of the Sub-Saharan African Gender Divide on the Rights and Status of Women in a Globalized World. International Research Scape Journal 1(Article 7): 1–48. Accessed 12 Oct 2016.
  42. Summers, Lawrence H. 1994. Investing in All the People: Educating Women in Developing Countries. EDI Seminar Paper 45, Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  43. Sutherland, Anna. 2015. The Many Ways Mothers’ Education Matters, February 19. Accessed 12 June 2016.
  44. UN Women. 2000. The Girl Child (Fact Sheet No. 12: United Nations Department of Public Information DPI/2035/L, May 2000). Accessed 10 May 2016.
  45. UNESCO. 2012. Education and Skills for Inclusive and Sustainable Development beyond 2015: Thematic Think Tiece, 3. Accessed 30 Oct 2016.
  46. UNESCO. 2016a. Gender Review: Creating Sustainable Futures for All. Global Education Monitoring Report (2016). Accessed 1 Nov 2016.
  47. UNICEF. 2001. Early Marriage Child Spouses. Innocenti Digest, 7: 12. Accessed 13 Nov 2015.
  48. UNICEF. 2015. Ending Child Marriage: Progress and Prospects. Accessed 15 Nov 2015.
  49. UNICEF’s Girl’s Education and Gender Equality, last modified March 23, 2015.
  50. Wamue-Ngare, Grace, and Waithera Nancy Njoroge. 2011. Gender Paradigm Shift within the Family Structure in Kiambu, Kenya. African Journal of Social Sciences 1 (3): 10–20. Accessed 31 Oct 2016.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American University of NigeriaYolaNigeria

Personalised recommendations