Unpacking Reasons for Girls' School Drop-out in West Nile, Uganda
Ensuring that all young people receive a quality education is one of the world’s great development challenges. While tremendous progress has been made in closing the gap between boys and girls in education at the primary level, girls still lag behind boys in secondary school enrollment and completion in several regions, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Decades of evidence have shown that education at the secondary level is critical for girls’ empowerment. Secondary education is also an engine of economic, social and political development.
In Uganda, the gender gap in primary school enrollment has completely closed; however, for every 10 boys enrolled in secondary school, there are only 8 girls (The World Bank, 2013). In the West Nile sub-region, where decades of past conflict and displacement have stunted economic and infrastructural development, the situation is even more dire: for every 10 boys enrolled in secondary school, there are only 5 girls (Twinomujuni, 2011). While nearly 40 percent of boys in the sub-region complete secondary education or higher, fewer than 11 percent of girls can claim the same (Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 2012).
From 2013 to 2014 ICRW and the Forum for African Women Educationalists Uganda (FAWEU) partnered to answer several questions about girls’ education in two districts in the West Nile sub-region of Northwestern Uganda as covered in this leaflet.