Know The Facts
Zeroing in on Kenya
- 78% of the girls don’t have an education beyond 8th grade
- In the past two years, 40% of girls in Kenya were married before their eighteenth birthday
- Kenya will see 35,000 more girls married off within the next year.But what if we were able to shift a girl’s value away from that of a goat or cow, and instead transform her into a skilled income-generator?
At Elimu Girls, we’re making real changes. We’re dismantling this number.
We’re doing our part to empower her to have economic independence, thus shifting her position in her community to be an income generator.
But why do these young girls get married off at such a young age?
In rural Kenyan villages, vulnerable girls can be exchanged for valuable livestock that can support an entire family’s food supply. Sometimes she’s traded for a cow or a goat, and sometimes for cash.
The global stats are jaw-dropping:
- 15 million girls a year are married before the age of 18.
- If there is no reduction in the practice of child marriage, 1.2 billion women alive in2050 will have married in childhood
- One in four girls globally is married before the age of 18.
- Girls with secondary or higher education are 3 times less likely to marry as children compared to girls with no education
Change is possible
Elimu Girls is taking action. In 2010, Elimu Girls launched its program with Heri Sewing College in Malindi. The vocational school is a 2-year program that teaches girls ages 14-20, how to sew. Upon graduation, she receives a sewing machine and is usually one of the first females in her village to be an entrepreneur. Her ability to raise money for the family radically shifts her position of value and she will not be exchanged at an early age for a dowry.