Factors Affecting Females' Participation in Education: The Case of Tocha Woreda in Snnpr

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Addis Ababa University


Education is a tool to enable citizens to make all rounded participalion in developmenl process. The parlicipalion of females in socio-economic programs especially depends on Iheir educolional background. Educaling girls and women is critical to achieve the benefits as well as Ihe improvement in the areas of health, fertility and nutrilion. Thus, females must be Ireated equally with males to attain educational access, which is necessary to increase their participation in different development programs. international treaties, conventions, laws & policies set a legal commitment on Ihe right of education and gender equality. However, gross and net enrollment differences in schooling of females prevail. Females remain under represented at all levels of education. The females' participation gap in education is wide in developing countries, one of which is Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the developing countries with low females ' participation in educalion. Statistics reveals that the number of female students in primary, secondary and higher education is not equal to that of male students. This low participation is one of the causesfor females ' to be underprivileged and underrepresented in development programs. If low females participalion in education continues, the Country would probably have a problem in achieving MDGs Goal 3 Targel 4. These raise the issue that the role of education and female participation should be analyzed and studied. The aim of this research was to identify factors affecting females ' participation in education in Dawuro Zone, Tocha woreda. To alta in this objective, information on school enrollment and school age population was gathered ji-om documents of the Ministl), of Educalion and SNNPREB. Further more, formal questionnaires were distributed to 260 female students, school principals and teachers. On the other hand, focused-gr()up discussion was held with 56 female studenls ' parents and with six woreda educational officials to gather information on factors that have contributed to low female participation in educalion. Percentages were predominanlly used to indicate the magnitude of respondents ' opinion and assumptions against each statement. The results of the study showed that factors that affected females participation in education are: qualification o/teachers, parents demand of female child labor, school cost such as house rent, food supply cost, long distance to school, parents ' poverty, fear of male harassment, lack of role models, dropout, abduction or "telefa ", parents' religion Iype, early marriage, parents ' illileracy and won)' of Ullwanted pregnancy. These are the major reasons for low female participalion in education in the study area. According to the study, the following have been recommended to improve females' participalion in Tocha Woreda. Recruiting qualified teachers, conducting workshops and seminars with parents and religious leaders to make sociely and parents aware on Ihe benefils of female education. Building 2nd cycle primary and secondary schools at reasonable distances, building boarding houses for distanl female sludenls, improving home technologies 10 lI1inimize Ihe incidence of female child labor are also recommended. Furthermore recruiling more female leachers 10 be role models, school principals and concerned governmenl bodies offering especial support to female students, take serious measures on abduction and early marriage would help to increase females' participation in education.



Affecting Females'