At Skateistan, it’s always been our priority to include and encourage girls. Through skateboarding and creative education, girls at Skateistan find a way to explore their interests, develop their skills and defy society's expectations.
It’s more important than ever to ensure our students continue to have access to safe learning environments, and our staff at our Skate Schools around the world are working hard to ensure this can happen. In January, our average student weekly attendance was 2,031 with a record high of 56% girls participation. January was the third month in a row that we have exceeded our global girls participation goal, and this really comes down to the incredible hard work of our staff in each Skate School.
Around half our students are girls and we strive every day to keep this at 50% or even higher. Covid-19 has disproportionately affected some groups more than others, and girls all over the world are no exception. Girls continue to face issues related to accessing safe learning environments, and while stuck at home in lockdown, girls are now taking on more of the household chores, they’re more at risk from violence due to increased stress at home, and less likely to return to school once restrictions are lifted.
We caught up with our program officers at a few of our Skate Schools to talk about why girls participation is so important, as well as learn some of the things they do to achieve a rate of 50% girls participation or higher.
We asked our Programs Officer in Mazar-e-Sharif, Noorzai, about why it’s so important to include girls and strive for 50% girls participation.
In Mazar, girls continue to come to Skateistan because their parents trust us. In the past few months, Skateistan has been the only external program that our students’ parents will send their children to.
More than half of our staff worldwide are women and we believe that this is central to proving to girls that they can be whatever they dream of being. Our female educators are the real drivers of girls participation, and inspire all of the girls in our programs to be whatever they want to be.
In Phnom Penh, our Programs Officer, Sina, offered some insight into how the team has achieved their girls participation goal. He described how our students join programs that are about so much more than skateboarding, because they come to learn, make new friends, and feel brave. The team in Phnom Penh focus on their annual themes of discipline, partnership, quality and quantity to ensure that the programs they run are impactful for all students, every time they participate at the Skate School.
Having female role models is so important for girls. Having women in positions of leadership at Skateistan shows girls that they can also become leaders. Female educators understand the challenges that girls face, and can help them overcome these barriers from their own experience. Exceeding our global girls participation goal three months in a row is reason to celebrate! When we give girls the safe space to have fun, develop their skills and confidence, they become leaders for a better world, and a better future.
If you can, donate today to ensure that girls can continue to dream big at Skateistan!