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The education of girls and women in Uganda

Peter R. Atekyereza


This paper analyses the contextual reasons for low enrolment and high dropout figures in Ugandan schools, particularly for women. It explains the extent to which sociocultural, economic, policy, and political factors are obstacles to the education of women in particular. It is partly based on the findings of study carried out in Uganda's Eastern District of Kamuli in 1996 by UNICEF/ACTIONAID Uganda in which the author was the team leader. Both primary and secondary comparative data show that sociocultural, economic and ideological factors greatly influence parents' or guardians' decisions on which of their children should receive education. Political factors and traditional customs pertaining to the social status of women which have been integrated, consciously or unconsciously, into the economic and political policy framework, further aggravate the precarious position of women. A clear explanation of the factors responsible for lack of accessibility and retention of girls in schools is needed if policies are to address the causes rather than symptoms of the problem.

Journal of Social Development in Africa Vol 16 No 2 2001, pp. 115-146

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eISSN: 1726-3700
print ISSN: 1012-1080