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USAID Promotes Gender Equity in Education in Southern Sudan

Contact: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Press Office: 202-712-4320; Public Information, 202-712-4810


WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 /Standard Newswire/ -- The American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in cooperation with the Government of South Sudan, has launched a five-year, $6.5 million Gender Equity through Education program in Juba, Southern Sudan. The program, implemented by USAID partner Winrock International, will promote gender equity in secondary schools and teacher training institutes throughout Southern Sudan and the Three Areas (Abyei, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan).


Currently, less than one in 10 girls complete their primary education, and as few as one percent of them attend the less than 100 secondary schools that serve the millions of people living in Southern Sudan. In addition, there are significantly low numbers of qualified women educators.


The Gender Equity through Education program will encourage nearly 7,000 girls and women to complete secondary school and become teachers. Scholarships will cover school fees and supplies and help reduce financial barriers to secondary education. School improvements will help eliminate social barriers to education, including, for example, the provision of separate bathrooms for girls and boys. Incentives for women to enter the teaching profession include gender-sensitive teaching aids, English language improvement courses, and scholarships to cover training fees and supplies. Cultural barriers will be addressed through community advocacy campaigns and greater government involvement in gender-sensitive programming. In order to promote sustainability, Winrock will pilot a mother-daughter micro-credit initiative to enable communities to eventually take over the scholarship allocation. Winrock will also conduct a study to measure the impact of USAID's education efforts in Southern Sudan from 2003 to 2012.


USAID has been working in the education sector in Southern Sudan since 2001. In support of the implementation of Sudan's 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, USAID's integrated humanitarian and reconstruction programs emphasize investment in community development and essential services to reduce tensions, rebuild communities, and encourage and sustain the return of displaced people.


The United States is the single largest donor to Sudan, contributing nearly $4 billion toward assistance in Sudan and eastern Chad since fiscal year 2005.


For more information on USAID programs in Sudan, please visit


The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.