In the Somali culture, a girl can be loved and cared for, but they are rarely thought of as education-worthy. The idea that the classroom is only for males has always been a common belief within the Somalis for a long time. Women are seen as incapable of becoming great outside their households. Thus, a woman cannot lead, trade and even walk around alone. However, there are so many benefits that can come from girls’ education, so that is why I identified it as a need that Somalis have to acknowledge. Therefore, there is a need for girls to be educated as boys and to see them that they are worthy of education.

According to the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, “Even today, in the aftermath of the war, only 13 percent of boys are enrolled in primary school. For girls, that number is barely 7 percent.” [UNGEI. (2020)]. When it comes to being a Somalia girl, many obstacles hold girls to be in school like “poverty, long distances to school, safety concerns, social norms favoring boys’ education. And lack of teachers, particularly female teachers, and the low availability of sanitation facilities.” [ (2020)]. These obstacles or barriers are denying a girl’s right to education and her rights to make decisions for herself if she wants to go to school or not. The Somalia community sees girls are not worthy of going to school because she will be married and become a housewife. If we look at five schools in Jowhar and to see the number of girls that go to those five schools is quite disappointing and heartbreak to view it.


# Boys

# Girls


% Boys

% Girls

Sh. Hussein Adde






Sh. Hanafi primary & secondary






Horseed primary & secondary






Sh. Hassan Barsane






Farjano primary & secondary












However, there is also this brutal ritual that puts the education of Somalia girls to an end, which is female genital mutilation. According to Al-Fanar Media, “As a result, thousands of Somali girls have abandoned their education, experts say. Somalia has one of the world’s lowest enrollment rates for primary-school-age children. Only 30 percent of children are in school, and only 40 percent of those students are girls. The percentage of girls usually drops as they move to higher grades because they undergo FGM and drop out of school.” They also mention in the article that girls “drop out of school at the age of 11 to 12,” said Omar. 

“When schools are closed they are taken by their parents and forced to undergo FGM. After the procedure, you will never see them again. They get married to old men and disappear forever.”[For Many Somali Girls, E. (2018).] For more Information.

As well as, Somalia girls are also subject to gender expectations that make them be out of school. Because of doing domestic housework and helping their mothers to raise their younger children, which makes them stay home. Being a girl in the Somalia community always had some consequence to pay, if it’s them seeing you that you are not worthy of being educated and so many other things.

Furthermore, when I turned fourteen, I became aware of my close friend Cabiir’s problem. Cabiir used to help her mother run a small store in Hargeisa’s downtown market. All her brothers used to go to school, but Cabiir didn’t, and she felt like an outcast undeserving of education after I saw her crying one day. “Nadia,” she said, “I want to attend school and learn about what is beyond my household. But I’m not allowed!” She explained how she had numerous fights with her mother and how it seemed like it was never her fate to attend school. Being a caring person, I thought that it was my responsibility to help ensure that Cabiir went to school. Firstly, I went to Cabiir’s mother, Kaah, because I understood that there must have been a reason why she was not allowed to go to school. “I need her to work with me in the store. Plus, girls don’t need to attend school; they need to learn how to raise a family.” Going with her reason, I explained to Kaah the importance of an educated mother, and how raising a family went alongside knowing how to read and write. She agreed that it’s important to have Cabiir educated, but she described the family’s low income and the need for her daughter in the shop. “We can come up with a solution to that,” I said, “as long as you will allow Cabiir to go to school.” 

I had to come up with a solution to fix the problem. Naturally, I thought I could start fundraising, but soon enough, I realized that it would not be a sustainable way to keep Cabiir in school. I recognized, people will stop giving money to Cabiir’s family, and once that happens, Cabiir’s education will come to a halt. However, after thinking for a long time, I came up with a solution: I will join the family’s storekeepers, and Cabiir will work one night, and I will do the following night. We’ll follow that pattern, and each one of us will have a night to study and another to work. All the income from my night will directly go to Cabiir’s mother, and this way, Cabiir remains in school. I understood that I would always be able to push myself to help Cabiir.

Cabiir is currently a student at Gollis University, getting a degree in education and Islamic sharia. She is an example of how we can empower every girl if we make it our responsibility that all women need to be educated. This is one story out of many, and there is a need for action that needs to be taken so that girls can go to schools.

In conclusion, many times, women’s education is taken as data, as if every one more girl education is nothing but improving statistics. People in our communities make decisions about our fate, and so we fail mercilessly as they make general one-dimensional decisions. They fail to see how complicated our world is—how this is not something to do out of guilt, but out of necessity and importance. There is an African proverb that says, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” This shows us how educating girls can go beyond herself because girls will make sure her children also get an education. Girls have the right to get an education as boys because they also matter, and we need to put our differences aside and see girls as humans. The Somalia community needs to see what can come out of the girl’s education and how that can benefit herself, her family, and the country as a whole. My call is to let girls be in schools, too see them as worthy of education and we need to do this as soon as possible because this is an emergency call to Somalia community.

Reference: (2020). [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2020].

For Many Somali Girls, E. (2018). For Many Somali Girls, Education Ends With a Brutal Ritual – Al-Fanar Media. [online] Al-Fanar Media. Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2020]. (2020). [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2020]. (2020). Education. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2020].

UNGEI. (2020). United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative – Somalia – Communities unite around education. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2020].