Information by Country

Gambia: Background

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

The Gambia has an estimated population of 1.4 million, with approximately 69 per cent of the population living below the poverty line.

Throughout the history of education in the Gambia, enrolment and retention data have consistently shown that girls are disadvantaged in educational opportunities.

Barriers to Girls’ Education

• Early marriage;
• Less value placed on education and more value placed on domestic work for girls;
• Poor economic return on educating girls in rural communities, since the curriculum is perceived as irrelevant to their social-economic realities.

UNGEI in Action

UNGEI is not yet formalized in the Gambia.  Discussions about a UNGEI network have taken place but the launch has not yet happened.  The Gender Unit at the Department of State for Education is fully sensitized and is ready to take the lead in mobilizing other partners.

Key Initiatives

The following planned key initiatives for girls’ education will be put in place once UNGEI is launched.

• Increased behaviour change;
• Scholarships for girls;
• Review of existing curriculum and provision of teaching and learning material.


A UNGEI partnership has not been initiated at the national level.  However, the Gender Unit of the Department of State for Education is expected to coordinate the process.

Potential Partners include: UNFPA, WFP, UNICEF, UNAIDS, DFID, World Bank, African Development Bank, National AIDS Secretariat, Education for All campaign network, The Commonwealth Education Fund, Forum for African Women Educationalists, Action AID, The Peace Corps. 

At the community level, partnerships will be built with mothers’ clubs and village support groups for Early Childhood Development.

UNGEI within other National and International Frameworks

Common Country Assessment (CCA) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) exist at the national level.


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