Information by Country

Liberia: 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.
Liberia is emerging from many years of civil war, which has led to internal displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, disrupted delivery of basic social services, and increased the vulnerability of women and children to extreme poverty, hunger and disease, including AIDS. Armed conflict has also hampered the country’s ability to make significant progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Barriers to girls’ education

  • The impact of war has left the majority of the population living in poverty.
  • High drop-out rates are largely due to teenage pregnancy, early marriage and harmful traditional practices.
  • The majority of teachers are unqualified, and only 19 per cent of all teachers are women.

UNGEI in action

Although an UNGEI partnership has not been initiated in Liberia, and there is no focal point at the country level, UNGEI conducted a gender review for Liberia’s submission to the Fast Track Initiative, which the country recently joined.

Key girls’ education initiatives

The Government of Liberia launched its National Girls’ Education Policy in April 2006, calling on partners to work together to achieve universal primary education for every Liberian child. The policy aims to provide universal, free and compulsory primary school and reduce secondary school fees by 50 per cent. It outlines activities to recruit and train more female teachers, provide counselling for girls and life skills education in schools, increase the availability of scholarships for girls and strengthen health systems in schools. And it calls for ending the impunity of teachers who sexually abuse and assault students.

The policy encourages the formation of parent-teacher associations and girls’ clubs, and it promotes adult literacy.


Partners in promoting girls’ education in Liberia include the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Ministry of Education, Oxfam, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

UNGEI within other national and international frameworks

The country is developing a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy and the Common Country Assessment (CCA), which is conducted jointly by the UN agencies, has been developed.


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