Ellen Chigwanda is a 2016 Echidna Global Scholar and project manager for the Country Office Gender Focal Point with CARE International in Zimbabwe. In this video, she describes her research on climate change as a barrier to achieving positive girls’ education outcomes.
Droughts in Zimbabwe have led the government to declare a state of emergency. To understand the impact of droughts on girls’ education, Ellen interviewed key stakeholders and examined national and program-level household data on the effects of drought. She found that drought multiplied the challenges faced by rural communities, and that girls were severely impacted. For example, 53 percent of households’ main water source was dry, increasing the chore burden on girls and putting them at greater risk during long walks to fetch water.
With the threat of drought unlikely to disappear, Ellen’s research highlights the costs of ignoring climate crises as a barrier in girls’ education programming. She examines how education actors can better respond to climate crises and offers stakeholders a model for building the resilience of the education ecosystem, communities and households, as well as girls themselves.