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From Day One

Why Supporting Girls Aged 0 to 10 Is Critical to Change Africa's Path

By Joyce Banda; With Caroline Lambert

The case for narrowing the gender gap is well established, and programs seeking to empower women in sub-Saharan Africa have multiplied. Yet a critical piece is missing: a focus on rural girls from zero to ten years old. Discrimination and social norms that penalize girls and women do not start at adolescence, and by the time many rural girls are 10, it is often too late to undo the damage that has already been done. As an African woman leader who has grown up on the African soil, Joyce Banda, Malawi’s first female president and Africa’s second, has seen firsthand how young rural girls face obstacles in areas that are critical in shaping their future. This book makes the case of how, if African girls are to realize their potential as leaders and change the narrative of their continent, gender interventions should and can be started from day one. For we cannot to leave any girl behind.

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