Education Of The Girl Child

Girls and women in Kenya are disadvantaged economically and socially, with limited access to education as the primary factor. Without access to education, girls and women lack opportunities in wage sector employment and in political, economic and judicial decision making. In addition, limited education has mental and physical health consequences for women and their children. The major barriers to the education of girls are patriarchal cultural values and practices, with male privilege in all areas of life, including education. Girls are expected to prepare for marriage at a young age, especially in the rural areas, and parents and schools do not encourage girls to go or to stay in school. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), menstruation, early pregnancies, sexual violence, forced early marriage, dowries and childbirth, with labour intensive domestic chores, force girls out of school at an early age. This is compounded by poverty, expensive school fees, long distance to schools and growing HIV/AIDS.

Teriano, in our story of Loodariak, was promised at birth in marriage to an older man when she reached puberty. Wanza, in our story of Kithuia Village, was also expected to follow the path to marriage. Her educational future was compounded by the early death of her parents and limited economic resources. Through educational sponsorships, both Teriano and Wanza were able to complete high school and become the first females  to graduate from University. Teriano is completing her graduate degree in Social Work and Wanza is working as an environmental scientist.



History Of Girl’s Education In Kenya


The Kenyan government is working to remove barriers to the education of girls, especially in the rural areas. Despite this, girls still face limited educational opportunities is Kenya. Limited education prevents the full participation of girls and women in the future of Kenya.


Chege, Fatuma and Sifuna, Daniel N. (2006). Girls’ and Women’s Education in Kenya: Gender perspectives and trends. UNESCO

Themes: education policies within gender and feminist frameworks, the colonial period, early childhood care and primary education, secondary and university education, vocational and technical training, teacher training, adult literacy, change

Summary: This article provides a detailed overview of Kenya’s education history and how the country began to focus on strengthening the link between gender and education. The article incorporates theory and policies as ways of better understanding gender perspectives.

Wangu Maina, Janet. (2014). Promoting Educational Equality in Kenya. The Association of American Colleges and Universities-On Campus with Women.

Themes: barriers to education and economic advancement, educational policies

Summary: Females in Kenya remain disadvantaged, with opportunities for educational, social, and economic advancement inferior to those of men. Factors hindering the education of girls and female are early marriages, childbearing and attendant parental responsibilities. The challenge for girls’ education in Kenya is to ensure girls enroll in school and successfully complete their education. The current system is inequitable.


Website: J Golden

Research Asst: H Sadkowski

& P Haastrup

Site Design: W Cudlip

Photos: J Golden, Ryerson University

& N Cole 


Professor Jean Golden Ryerson University


Site Designer: Walt Cudlip



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