chapter  9
15 Pages

How civil conflict and gender- based violence affect women’s education in Africa


Civil conflicts are essentially about control of the state and monopoly over the use of force, but it is women as well as children who bear much of the brunt. Over 20 per cent of children of primary school age reside in conflictaffected countries, but this group comprises about half of all out-of-school children of primary school age (UNESCO, 2011, 2014). Young children who live in conflict-affected countries are more likely to drop out of school than are children in peaceful countries. Across Africa, millions of people are confronted with violence and subjected to sexual violence, disease, food deprivation, and forced army servitude. In They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children, Dallaire (2010) documents the sheer brutality of conflicts in Africa in which young children are forced onto the battlefield and exposed to horrific scenes that harden them to violence and ultimately destroy their lives. Conflict has the power to destroy the hopes and ambitions of a whole generation of children (UNESCO, 2011).