Value of girls’ education in Uganda
Simply put, educated girls help break the cycle of poverty. Girls who attend school are more likely to enter the work force, earn higher incomes, delay marriage, plan their families better and thus seek an education for their own children.
Despite the gender gap slowly shrinking over time, girls’ education throughout Uganda still varies noticeably depending on the region. As of July 2018, it was reported that over 700,000 Ugandan girls between 6 and 12 years of age have never attended school. In fact, about half the girls aged 15 to 24 are illiterate and four out of five girls do not attend high school. A major contributing factor to this is up to 40 percent of Ugandan girls are married before they reach 18 years old, while 10 percent of these girls are even married before the age of 15.
In a male dominated society, gender inequality, caring for the sick and child rearing are still widely considered to be the acceptable norm for girls and young women. Sadly, there are too few positive female role models in Uganda who embrace education, so it’s difficult to break this cycle of harmful negativity.
Of course, some girls persist in wanting an education despite these and the many other challenges they face. The most common problems that prevent them attending school are: long walking times between home and school, inadequate classrooms, the poor quality of teaching, lack of security, sub-standard classrooms and infrastructure, limited toilets or running water, low teacher morale and low achievement rates.
Privacy and lack of hygienic bathrooms or running water for girls during menstruation, while combined with all the other factors, have serious effects on their education and influence their ability to attend school.
To start to change all this, Winds of Hope are currently working to sponsor 1000 girls in Uganda in 2019, to help them have a proper and well-rounded education. We work to achieve fundraising that’s supported by both the local Ugandan and East African communities in Australia.
Though we will go over this in more detail in a future post, we believe in the absolute importance of girls’ education and dedicate as much of our time and resources to achieve this.