Literacy for Women and Girls


Bible Engagement in The Gambia

Overview


This literacy project aims to assist girls and young women from four tribes in The Gambia, teaching them how to read and write in the languages of their tribal groups. This project fills a gap, since many young girls are utilised by their families as farm hands and home helpers for their mothers rather than being sent to school.

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In many parts of Africa, sons receive the benefits of schooling while daughters do not. This has clear ramifications for individual families, communities and the broader society as women remain marginalised from the workplace and opportunities to improve their lives.

The Gambia in West Africa is the smallest country within the African mainland. Its needs are great, as poverty is high. Close to 50% of the 1.8 million population cannot read or write and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has ranked the country in the “Low Human Development” category. Most of its people work as farmers.

Girls are married very young and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is still widely practiced. Daughters have no right to inherit their father’s property – this goes to the first born son. Girls are often seen as inferior and of less value to the family.

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