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Girls of Zimbabwe have little access to schooling

More than one third of all girls in Zimbabwe stray from getting an education out of fear, poverty and cultural issues, leaving many with little room to grow as they age, IRIN reports.

''Sexual harassment and abuse by even school teachers and parents, cultural issues, lack of school fees, early marriage, parental commitments and early pregnancies are some of the contributing factors to the dropout by the girl child,'' said the authors of Because I am a Girl, a study from the humanitarian group Plan International, which works to alleviate child poverty.

Aside from the problems girls face each day trying to learn, many believe a 2005 government program called Operation Murambastvina, which forced 700,000 people out from urban areas across the nation, made finding access to schools all the more difficult.

Amnesty Internationals' 2011 report, Left Behind: The Impact of Zimbabwe's Forced Evictions on the Right to Education, found that the program disrupted the primary and secondary education of 220,000 children, many being girls.

Most families forced out were sent to rural areas or camps without established schools or any other means of education.

''Operation Murambatsvina inflicted a severe blow to the right to education for the affected population, who were already among the poorest and most disadvantaged in Zimbabwe," the authors added.

Since 2009, humanitarian groups have been working with the government to create the Education Transition Fund to help supply teachers with salaries and students with proper supplies in Zimbabwe.
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