KEY FACTORS HINDERING ACCESS TO EDUCATION FOR GIRLS IN KENYAPoverty, cultural beliefs and practices such as early marriage...
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girls education in Kenya


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girls education in Kenya

  1. 1. KEY FACTORS HINDERING ACCESS TO EDUCATION FOR GIRLS IN KENYAPoverty, cultural beliefs and practices such as early marriage, female circumcision. Other are HIV/AIDS,Child labor, Gender based violence and sexual abuse among others. Although these factors affect theeducation of boys, girls are more disadvantaged than boys. Other factors such as grade repetition, poorperformance and low self-esteem are also major contributory factors to drop out among girls.FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO TEENAGE PREGNANCYSeveral reasons have been given to explain this situation; the break down in traditional family systems,Influence of the mass media and urbanization as well as the lack of access to information and servicesarejust some of the factors. Break down in traditional values and strict social taboos that once regulatedsexual behavior among unmarried youth have broken down and have not been replacedLack of access to comprehensive information on sexuality: Adolescents encounter obstacles toinformation and services at various levels. While the Ministry of Education acknowledges the need toprovide information on sexuality the lack of access to comprehensive sexuality education in schoolscontributes to the negative consequences of sexuality experienced by many young people. Severalorganizations currently implement programs that provide young people with information on a range ofissues. These programs are however limited in scope and reach only a small number of students.Poverty: Poverty and material deprivation have also been found to push girls into activities that exposethem to sexual exploitation and survival sex in exchange for money and food. In such situations, theyoung girls are not in a position to negotiate safe sex and are often at risk of pregnancy and STIsincluding HIV/AIDS. Several studies have shown that young women exchange sex for money or giftsLack of guidance from parents: Problems in parent-child relationships may also alienate adolescentsand encourage them to seek comfort, acceptance and consolation through sexual activity. A studythat looked at Mother Daughter Communication revealed that although girls would have liked to discussSexuality with their parents, most parents were shy and often adopted a controlling approach which didnot work for both parents and teenagersInfluence from media: Exposure to suggestive or explicit media, films and magazines may also influenceadolescent sexual behavior. In recent years, improvement in communication has made access toinformation much easier than before. Media has expanded with various FM Radio stations and televisionschannels coming up. Young people have access to these channels of communication and can accessinformation on a whole range of issues. While this is a positive development, it has also made access topornographic material easy.In Kenya pregnancy related drop out is as old as the school system itself but it is in the last two decadesthe Ministry has made significant progress in re-admitting girls who drop out because of pregnancy.