The teenage based Girls Alliance for Future Leadership says school dropouts amongst girls are nearing an alarming crisis proportion in Liberia. The organization, with a membership of over 500-girls scattered in schools across the Monrovia and its environs, says after a careful random assessment of girls’ enrollment from 2011 t0 2012, it is clear that Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration’s program on empowering women and girls is a “total failure”.
The Secretary General of the group, Madam SammittaEntsua, told the media that information gathered from conversation with their members from twenty top schools in Monrovia shows that more girls dropped out of school as a result of teenage pregnancy in 2011 and 2012.
Sammitta said while a comprehensive scientific survey is needed to put numbers to the national average on girls’ dropout from schools, stories from their members are centered on the lives of their classmates who are now victims of teenage pregnancy.
The girls’ alliance boss noted that poverty and high unemployment amongst Liberian parents is major contributing factor for the swelling of girls’ school dropout because majority female teenagers in Monrovia’s densely populated slum communities start fending for themselves at age 14. Sammitta also noted that the Ministry of Gender and Development is showing no real interest in doing anything about conducting an investigate survey into girls well-being let alone do anything tangible to help girls in impoverish communities to stay in school.
Girls Alliance said the problem is not only with the current Minister Julia Duncan Cassell, but the previous minister-Varba Gayflor.
According to her, both Gayflor and Duncan Cassell have shown gross incompetence in handling problem affecting women and girls. Girls Alliance in January 2012 suggested to the president to appoint a youthful female to the leadership of the Ministry of Gender and Development, a suggestion the president ignored.
During the celebration of the 2012 Day of the African Child Girls Alliance also accused President Johnson- Sirleaf of being inaccessible to children, an accusation the president flatly denied. But Sammitta again told the media up until today the president has refused to talk with them or even write them an apology for failing to show up at their 2012 anti-teenage pregnancy campaign events in West Point and New Kru Town despite repeated invitations to both events.