The Somali Girls’ Education Promotion Programme takes place in disputed border areas characterized by ongoing conflict, remoteness, and vulnerability to recurrent droughts. Seasonal migration results in 48% of the girls being absent from school at the beginning of the year. The majority of the rural Somali girls enroll late and drop out from school before acquiring basic skills, or do not enroll at all. Opportunities for post-primary education are nonexistent, and the pathways for girls are limited by traditional gender norms. The limited availability of trained teachers also contributes to poor learning outcomes.
CARE works with government partners, communities, and schools to develop sustainable solutions for girls to attend school regularly, acquire literacy and numeracy skills, and transition to higher education levels.
CARE’s programming aims to increase literacy and numeracy outcomes and transition rates for more than 27,000 girls and 27,000 boys across 199 schools in Somaliland, Puntland, and Galmudug. The project uses an integrated approach that includes training teachers in formal schools; providing tailored accelerated learning programs for early primary and upper primary/lower secondary; training community committees; addressing economic barriers faced by parents and gendered barriers at the community level; and developing girls’ leadership skills to boost classroom participation and shift traditional gender roles.
Closing the gender gap: After one year of intervention, girls in Grade 4 performed at the same level as boys in both literacy and numeracy. At the baseline, boys outperformed girls at both literacy and numeracy assessments.
Reading comprehension: Grade 4 girls participating in Girls’ Empowerment Forums reached an average score of 66% in reading comprehension, compared with 37% among the comparison group.
Dropout: Only 4% of the girls in the treatment group dropped out of school, compared with 8% among the comparison group.
Transition: The transition rate among girls participating in Girls’ Empowerment Forums is 11 percentage points higher than in the comparison group.