Girls and young women in Uganda drop out of schools as a result of cultural norms. Without an education, early marriage is typically the only option left to them. By contrast, education protects them against discriminatory or abusive treatment.
“As dropouts,” Andrew Green reports, “girls say they are stigmatised because people assume they left school because of a sexual relationship. In reality, though, the choice to stay in school is usually not even one they are allowed to make, because parents often see little incentive in ensuring that their daughters finish school.” The primary tasks of women in Ugandan society are preparing for marriage and taking care of their families. Thus, parents often determine that “it is not in the family’s best interest to fund a female’s education.”
Nonetheless, young women are showing more interest in an education partly because it offers alternatives to marriage, especially when a relationship becomes abusive.
Corporate media coverage on gender and education tends to focus narrowly on health education. While this is certainly an important topic, Green’s report addresses how opportunities for young women to complete their formal education create positive, life-changing conditions for them.
Andrew Green, “Keeping Girls in School in Uganda,” Inter Press Service (IPS), September 26, 2012. http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/09/keeping-girls-in-school-in-uganda/
Student Researcher: Chris Tewhill, College of Marin
Faculty Evaluator: Andy Lee Roth, College of Marin