Attaining primary and secondary school education for girls in Liberia remains a major challenge. Girls aged below 10 years are pulled out of formal education, by traditionalists, and forced to take part in traditional female initiation ceremonies in informal settings locally known as bush schools. As a consequence, nearly half of women in Liberia are illiterate, according to United Nations statistics. However a programme supported by the United Nations Human rights office is engaging with some of the rural communities in Liberia to encourage them to allow girls to complete formal education. One county, the Grand Cape Mount has been successful in convincing traditionalists to stop pulling girls out of school, for initiation.
This country factsheet on Liberia intends to assist practitioners to identify the key national policies relevant to the right to education, analyse their strengths and weaknesses and detect the gaps between policies and practice, in order to use the empirical data collected to define a human rights advocacy strategy.
It provides an overview of: the obligations of the government to realise the right to education; the instruments (policies, budget…) and mechanisms (commissions, courts…) that exist in the country to implement the right to education; recommendations made by various national and international stakeholders (UN Agencies, NGOs…) on the right to education. This factsheet does not give a comprehensive overview of the policies in the country, but only a snapshot of some key aspects affecting the right to education.