The role of education in promoting empowerment as agency in the lives of women and girls in Somaliland

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This article draws on 100 qualitative interviews with young women who participated in a girls’ education programme known as SOMGEP (Somali Girls Education Programme). The underpinning research sought to explore the impact of SOMGEP education on and for the later life outcomes of the participating girls now women. Researchers were able to revisit former SOMGEP students 7 years after the end of the programme. The findings made links between higher levels of educational attendance and attainment and its positive impact on agency. What also emerged was the ways in which the expression of agency is hampered by wider contextual factors that often act as a backlash to the transformative potential of a secular education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Asian and African Studies
Early online date12 May 2024
Publication statusEarly online - 12 May 2024


  • gender
  • Somaliland
  • agency
  • education
  • empowerment

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