To invest in girls’ education is also to invest in preventing disease, decreasing poverty, and lessening violence. When a woman prospers, her family prospers—when families prosper, whole communities prosper.
The Marial Bai Secondary School is committed to supporting female education in South Sudan—working against staggering statistics.
Many girls drop out or never enroll due to marriage, pregnancy, and duties at home. We are working with the community to bridge the gap between traditional female roles in the community and the importance and benefit of equal education for girls in order to increase enrollment and opportunity.
The female dormitories at MBSS currently accommodate 115 girls—more than any other high school in South Sudan. We are currently offer young women’s mentoring programs, a female dorm advisor who is a locally respected as a leader, and family outreach to promote female student retention. Educating girls in a safe co-educational environment creates a culture of equality. Providing staff to fulfill many of the daily duties of women in the community, our girls can focus on their studies, making new friends, and having fun. The male students at MBSS see that when girls are given the same opportunity to learn, they thrive and compete for the top marks in class.
- With a maternal mortality rate of 1:32, a girl is seven times more likely to die in child birth than graduate secondary school. South Sudan has the highest maternal death rate in the world.
- 52% of girls are married before the age of 18.
- Less than 1% of South Sudanese girls are studying at a secondary level.
- A South Sudanese girl is seven times more likely to die
in childbirth than graduate high school.
- The World Bank has estimated that only seven girls for every ten boys attend primary education, while five girls for every ten boys are enrolled in secondary education. In 2013 only 500 girls were in the last grade of secondary school in the whole country.
- Only 12% of teachers are female. Female teachers are essential to serve as a positive influence for girls to enroll and stay in school – such a low number plays a part in reinforcing gender disparities.
- Literacy rates are remarkably lower for girls, 40% compared to 60% for boys.
- 91% of women in South Sudan are illiterate.
- In South Sudan, a girl spends on average of only 4.5 years enrolled in school.