WHY LIBERIAN GIRLS

Liberia, like many other African countries, finds herself with an unbalanced ratio of girls to boys undergoing education. Levels of education and literacy in Liberia are extremely low for everyone, but substantially worse for females than males.  41% of women, contrasted with 70% of men, are literate. 56% of females and 39% percent of males have never attended any school.  In the northwestern areas of Liberia, 70% of females have no education at all. 25% of females and 26% of males have only a primary education.  And the 29% of urban women who have attended some secondary school contrasts with only 6% of rural women.  Urban residents tend to be considerably more educated than their rural counterparts.  70.7% of urban men have secondary education or higher as compared to 45.8% of urban women.  The limited availability of schools in rural areas, where most of the indigenous people live, makes the percentage even more staggering with 10.4% for women and 37.4% for men.   The fact is that in most cases, girls and women lag far behind boys and men, educationally. There remains a high disparity between girl’s and boy’s education in a nation recovering from years of civil war.

 

Realities cont.

Negative Cultural assumptions

 

• cultural biases against educating  girls

• discrimination against girls at every developmental stage

• higher value placed on boys in many cultures

• Have no rights to education, food, dignity, protection, etc.

• exposure to harmful practices – FGM, forced marriage

• girls being judged by physical appearance and not what they  contribute  to society

 

Realities: Education

Conventional school

 

• disparities in access, enrollment and attendance

• gender stereotyping in textbooks, classrooms, class subjects, etc.

• priority given to educating boys

• household tasks impeding education or making it very difficult to excel or complete

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