Home Impact Girls Education

Looking at education, Kenya is faced with many gender and regional disparities.

  1. In North Eastern Province Gross Enrolment Rate for girls is 29% compared to 112% in Western Province.
  2. In Nairobi's informal settlements only 22% of 15 to 17 year old girls were enrolled in school compared to 68% nationally and 73% in rural areas.
  3. In a country filled with cultural norms, girls in many communities are still seen as homemakers who do not deserve to go to school.
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Massive poverty has also crippled many families' efforts to educate their children despite introduction of free primary education. With the little resources that some families have, they prefer to send their boys to school since it is believed that they are future wealth sources to their parents than the girls, as they will go on to be breadwinners. With HIV/AIDS killing many parents, many girls are left with the responsibility of taking care of their siblings, which inevitably takes them away from the classrooms.

Kenya's legal system incorporates many laws concerning women. However, many of these laws, including the Constitution are discriminatory and have resulted in many women in Kenya having their rights violated, leaving them with little or no place for recourse. There have been several attempts to amend the Constitution in order to revise or discard laws and provisions within the Constitution that discriminate/ allow for discrimination of women. However these have not been successful. Dominant areas of discrimination are concerned with laws on inheritance, sexual and gender based violence.

Barriers to girls' education

  • Emergencies caused by drought have curbed school attendance by both girls and boys.
  • Child labour due to high levels of poverty, particularly in rural areas, keeps girls out of school.
  • Religious and cultural traditions generally favour boys.
  • Nomadic tribes have very low school enrolment rates, especially for girls.