ADOLESCENT GIRLS’ EDUCATION IN SOMALIA (AGES)

Speeches Shim

ADOLESCENT GIRLS’ EDUCATION IN SOMALIA (AGES) Fact Sheet

Many factors have restricted girls’ and young women’s access to a formal education in Somalia, including economic issues, political instability, in addition to traditions like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and required housework. The inequality between boys’ and girls’ education is apparent. Low enrollment rates in schools are apparent throughout the country, and girls’ enrollment rates are significantly lower. Education opportunities for many Somali children are somewhat limited, especially for girls. Education and equal opportunities are important for improving the quality of life. Despite these problems, there are organizations such as USAID that aim to educate more girls and young women in the country.

Through the AGES program, USAID/Somalia provides young Somali women with basic financial literacy, basic math numeracy, and life skills, combined with economic and social opportunities that will improve their lives.


WHY INCREASING ACCESS TO NON-FORMAL EDUCATION FOR ADOLESCENT GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN MATTER?

Access to education is a major challenge in Somalia, particularly for girls and young women. Only 25 percent of primary school-aged girls are attending formal schools. An additional 65 percent of young women aged 20 to 24 have not attended school at all or only have some primary education. Adolescent girls and young women face many security, economic, and social barriers to accessing education. Families may often not prioritize or have the ability to pay for girls and young women to attend school. Young women are often expected to contribute to household work from a young age, face early marriage or other types of gender-based violence, and may face restrictions as to when and where they can travel.

When women build foundational skills, they will be able to actively participate in making decisions in their households and communities. They will be able to advocate for themselves, network with other women, and learn how to invest in their own livelihoods.

WHAT IS AGES DOING TO PROMOTE EDUCATION?

Jointly funded by USAID and UK Aid, AGES provides education opportunities for over 80,000 marginalized girls and young women in Somalia’s Banadir Region and Hirshabelle, Jubaland, and South West States. With USAID’s contribution, AGES reached nearly 40,000 additional marginalized adolescent girls and young women aged 15 to 25 by expanding its 11-month, non-formal education course tailored to the needs of older girls who have never attended school.

AGES provides support to girls and young women to engage in economic empowerment, civic action, and linkages with other development opportunities and safety nets. AGES works to strengthen young women’s networks, supports youth-led advocacy efforts, and fosters safe spaces for dialogue. AGES will also expand economic opportunities for young women by forming Village Saving and Loans Associations and linking them to formal and informal financial services, social safety nets, and emergency support systems.

By the end of the project, USAID expects 80 percent of AGES graduates to improve their reading skills, 75 percent will improve their basic math numeracy skills, and 85 percent will have stronger social-emotional learning skills.

KEY ACTIVITY FACTS

  • Funding Level: $49 million
  • Duration: October 2019 – October 2024
  • Activity Locations: 11 Districts in Hirshabelle, Jubaland, and South West States and Benadir Regional Authority
  • Implementing Partners: Creative Associates, Save the Children, ORB International, SIL LEAD, Formal Education Network for Private Schools, Hano Academy, Himilo Relief and Development Association.
  • Key Partners: Federal Ministry of Education, Culture, and Higher Education and Federal Member States Ministries of Education

Last updated: September 09, 2022

Share This Page