Where I was grew up equal opportunities are only an idea and woman are always victims of violence” – said Maryan, 39 from South Central Somalia.
In South Central Somalia, particularly in Baidoa and Jowhar, education sector remains a huge challenge: young people are often denied their right to quality and basic education, expecially girls’ retention remain low. This is attributed to some cultural and institutional barreirs and poor infrastructure that keep girls out of school.
In Central South Somalia more than three quarters of public schools that existed before the civil war have been destroyed or closed and state intervention in the education sector has been limited.
Currently, Somalia is dominated by the private sector due to lack of centralized government for almost three decades. The education sector suffers from severe managerial, technical and financial resource challenges and a lack of regulation and consistency in standards.
More critical barriers in girls’ education in Somalia are: financial challenges (49%), child and early marriage (29,2%), insecurity (13,1%), negative attitude of parents (12,5%), cultural barriers (9,2%), household chores (4,3%) and general lack of education opportunity (1,6%).
Poor family in South Somalia cannot afford education. Many parents and community leaders have taken education into their own hands, but they still don’t have the necessary resources. Cause of these obstacles and additional difficult circumstances, millions of children are not getting an education.
Early Marriage and negative attitude of parents
Forced marriage is the second most significant barrier to girls child education in Somalia. This aspect is linked to Somali tradition: mother use to encourage girls to marry early thus threatening their education.
Insecurity and Cultural barriers
Girls are intimidated by violence at schools. Gender’s disparities are high in education field, particularly, culture impedes girls’ access to education.
Why it is important to reduce girls’ education gap
Education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women, but parents and community leaders know the importance of education and dream of giving every school-age child a chance to go to school and learn. It’s important to promote girl’s education in poor countries in order to allow girls to make decisions about their own lives, to acquire skills and competences to secure jobs and to contribute to their communities as well as to promote progress for society as a whole.
INTERSOS is present in Somalia since 2002, promoting programmes aiming at behavioural change in relation to violence against girls and women.
Our projects include training courses and awareness campaigns for surmounting these barriers as well as preventing gender inequality, violence at school promoting equitable access to quality formal basic education expanded to all school – aged boys and girls.
What is more, INTERSOS runs specific programmes and recommended actions which focus to establish financial aid for school girls reducing lack of school fees that is one of the most significant barrier to girl child education in Somalia.