FACTORS INFLUENCING GENDER EQUALITY IN BASIC EDUCATION SYSTEM OF SOMALIA
Somalia is among the countries characterized by massive gender inequality in education. The discriminative culture of Somalia towards girls is the major factor responsible for the massive lack of access to education by the girls in the country. The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors influencing gender equality in basic education in Somalia, with a view of providing more relevant information to guide policy formulation and implementation, to aid in the achievement of the Somali government vision of Gender equality. The descriptive research design was used as a method for the study. Data was collected using questionnaires. The study involved 80 respondents from diverse backgrounds both in culture and regions of origins. The study indicated that there was a significant positive relationship between social cultural factors and gender inequality in basic education in Somalia. Respondents agreed that some parents believed that teaching girls was impossible, because girls could not access good jobs. The study findings showed that economic constraints of the household influenced gender equality in education. The study findings indicated that respondents agreed to the statement that some families emphasized educating boys only due to their low income; this was evidenced by a mean response value of 4.03. To reduce gender inequality in education the study recommended that the government reduce discrimination in basic education through a whole-of-government approach and through means such as appropriate legislation, policies, monitoring and public awareness campaigns to ensure that boys and girls had equal access to good-quality education, equal rights and opportunities to successfully complete schooling and in making educational choices. The government should make education free and compulsory, at primary level as well as early childhood education and secondary level, and this should be understood as central to progress towards gender equality in education. Indirect costs such as school feeding, transportation, uniforms and materials, should also be free.
Key terms: Gender Equality, Gender Discrimination, Feminism
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