Cuso International is removing barriers to education for high school girls in Ethiopia
U-GIRLS 2 project promotes importance of girls’ access to schooling
OTTAWA—Cuso International’s newest project in Ethiopia is promoting access to higher education for high school girls. U-Girls 2 is a five-year project aimed at girls aged 15 to 25 in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region, as well as their families and communities, to address existing gender barriers that impede girls’ ability to stay in school.
“Girls are often pulled from school to help with cooking, washing and cleaning, or to start their own families,” says Wendwossen Kebede, Cuso International Country Program Director in Ethiopia. “Girls who live in urban areas have an average education level of Grade 10, but that drops to Grade 8 for girls living in rural communities. Only 27 per cent of students at the post-secondary level are women.”
Through U-Girls 2, adolescent girls will receive academic resources, training and tutorials, and a financial stipend to allow them to focus on schoolwork. Supports will also be provided to teachers and schools in providing gender-sensitive learnings.
“The practice of sexual and harmful traditional practices begins against women from their early childhood, while men are supported to have skills in economic development, leadership and politics. Women have limited opportunities to get uninterrupted education,” says Solen Abera, Lecturer and Gender Focal Person in the Faculty of Health Science at Assosa University. “The U-Girls 2 project will help to address some of the disparities existing in girls’ access to education. That, in turn, will contribute to better participation of women in leadership and politics in the region.”
The U-Girls 2 project is being implemented in partnership with the Institute of International Education and is funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.
“Cuso International has a long history of supporting education around the world. This project will enhance academic, social and soft skills for adolescent girls, including those with disabilities, and strengthen the capacity of teachers and education institutions to deliver quality and gender-sensitive education,” says Glenn Mifflin, Cuso International CEO.
About Cuso International
Cuso International is a Canadian not-for-profit organization focused on ending poverty and inequality. Cuso works with local partners to amplify their impact in the areas of gender equality, women and girls’ empowerment, and improved economic opportunities for youth. Learn more about Cuso’s impact at cusointernational.org.
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