Education in Niger

by Mehreen Quadri According to a UNICEF report from 2013, 23.2% of women in Niger are literate. Factors such as culture, family and societal pressures, and the fact that Niger’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, perpetuate some of the highest rates of illiteracy and the lowest rates of formal education in Africa. Most families in… Read more »

Empowered Women: A Force for Economic Growth in Niger

by Kristopher Coulston Access to clean water is not only essential for life, it is also essential for a thriving economy. When a nation’s citizens do not have ready access to clean water, every aspect of the country is negatively impacted, especially the economy. Women and girls are the citizens who are most affected by… Read more »

Educating Girls: A Key Part of the Climate Change Solution

By Barbara Goldberg Paul Hawken, a well-known author and activist recently published a book, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever to Reduce Global Warming. In it, he identifies the 100 top solutions to reducing global warming. I was shocked and delighted to learn that number six on the list is educating girls. It is something… Read more »

Empowered by Water

by Kristopher Coulston Illness and family emergencies are typically the cause for school absence in developed countries. Unfortunately, this is not the situation in drought-stricken countries, such as Niger. Water is scarce and girls spend hours walking miles just to satisfy their desperate need for it, even if the water sources they are gathering from… Read more »

More Than We Know: Discovering Nigerien Culture Through Art

By Jennifer Dees As a writer, I feel that identity is tied to art.  I’ve wondered at the painter’s mind while staring at furious strokes of color. I’ve watched musicians lose themselves in a powerful song. And I’ve seen dance movements that express more than words ever could. So I set out to discover female… Read more »

Gratitude of a Graduate

by Shelton Owen As I soak up the bittersweet last moments of my senior year of high school, I sense my departure for college inching closer. The school year has been packed with applications, scholarship essays, and an abundance of rigorous preparations for the next chapter of my educational career. It wasn’t until recently, when… Read more »

Children on the Market

by Shelton Owen Hama Amadou, President Mahamadou Issoufou’s opposition in Niger’s 2016 election, was sentenced to one year in jail following a long-running baby smuggling investigation. The former candidate has been living in France for the past year after fleeing Niger just days before a run off, citing health concerns. The prosecution claimed Amadou was… Read more »

The Repercussions of Violence Against Women

The implications of the violence wrought by extremist group Boko Haram to the nations surrounding Nigeria, including Chad and Niger, reach far beyond civilian casualties and displacement. It is no secret that rape is an unfortunately common weapon of war, and Niger is no exception. Sexual violence against women is part of Boko Haram’s plundering strategy, and it can provoke psychological and social trauma; women that have been raped are frequently ostracized by their families and neighbors despite it having been against their will.

Empowering Women to Reduce Population Growth

Total fertility rate is a measure used by demographers that quantifies the average number of children that women in a specified population tend to have. Like many African countries, Niger’s fertility rate is rather high—it is so high in fact, as to be in the top ten fastest growing countries with regards to population in the world. The total fertility rate of the nation is 7.57, meaning that Niger’s women tend to have an average of 7-8 kids each during their lifetimes.

Help Women, Help the World

Gender issues have come into sharp focus in recent years, particularly in Africa. The African Union declared 2016 to be “The Year of Human Rights with a Special Focus on Women’s Human Rights.” Gender was a priority in the Millennium Development Goals and continues to be so in the new Sustainable Development Goals.