Working Paper


Understanding the Influences on Girls' Primary Education in Ethiopia from the Perspectives of Girls and Their Caregivers


Image of Yisak Tafere

Yisak Tafere

RISE Ethiopia

Policy Studies Institute

Image of Louise Yorke

Louise Yorke

RISE Ethiopia

University of Cambridge

Image of Pauline Rose

Pauline Rose

RISE Ethiopia

Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, University of Cambridge

Over the past two and a half decades, significant progress has been made in relation to girls’ education in Ethiopia. However, challenges remain, particularly in terms of girls’ progression, completion, and learning, with girls in more rural and remote areas facing the greatest difficulties. Drawing on data from the RISE Ethiopia qualitative study, we explore the factors at the individual, family, school, and community levels that impact girls’ education and learning from the perspectives of girls themselves. Specifically, we include the views of 15 female students enrolled in Grades 4 and 5 of primary school and of their parents/caregivers from five different regional states in Ethiopia, and across both rural and urban locations. We situate our analysis within the context of the government’s large-scale quality education reform programme (GEQIP-E) that has a specific focus on girls’ education. Our findings highlight the importance of taking account of the heterogeneity of girls’ experiences, including the varied challenges that diverse groups of girls face, and the different challenges they may encounter at distinct stages of their educational journeys. Our findings also highlight the importance of including the perspectives of girls and their families, within the context in which they are located.


Tafere, Y., Yorke, L., Rose, P. and Pankhurst, A. 2022. Understanding the Influences on Girls' Primary Education in Ethiopia from the Perspectives of Girls and Their Caregivers. RISE Working Paper Series. 22/097.