Towards achieving gender equality and equity in the provision of education to the girl child in selected secondary schools in Gwanda district
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The study sought to establish the challenges that inhibit the full participation of the girl child in accessing education in selected secondary schools in Gwanda District of Matabeleland South Province in Zimbabwe. For this qualitative study, the descriptive survey design was used and a sample chosen through purposive sampling comprising of ten (10) school heads, ten (10) senior women responsiblefor the welfare of girls and one hundred and twenty (120) school girls. Data was collected through the interview technique. The data yielded the following issues as major challenges affecting the girl child's participation in education: the need to take care of ill parents, siblings and relatives, dismissal on pregnancy, parental preference for the boy child, the pressure to find employment due to family poverty, among other reasons. The study recommends, inter alia, that pregnant students be allowed to continue with their education, 'O' level girl graduands with less points than boys be allowed to proceed to 'A' level, girls be provided with contraceptives and sanitary ware so as to equalise and justify educational opportunities.