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ERIC Number: ED582985
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Engaging the Custodians of Tradition and Culture: Leveraging the Role of Multiple Actors in Maasai Girls' Education. Echidna Global Scholars Program, Policy Brief
Parsitau, Damaris Seleina
Center for Universal Education at The Brookings Institution
The education of girls living in Maasailand in Kenya's arid and semi-arid regions presents many challenges. This policy brief explores how deep-seated perceptions embedded in Maasai culture hold girls' back. This research looks in depth at Kajiado and Narok counties, both predominantly Maasai areas that have some of the lowest school enrollment and completion rates in the country. Drawing from her own experience as founder of Let Maasai Girls Learn, the author contributes much-needed analysis and data on the status of girls' education in Maasailand. The brief explores how factors like Female Genital Mutilation, childhood marriage, a preference for boys, environmental factors like drought and famine, and the burden of household chores mitigate against the education of Maasai girls. Gaps in current policy frameworks and interventions in the Maasai community are outlined, along with detailed proposals for engaging key gatekeepers who are pivotal to getting (and keeping) Maasai girls in school. A key takeaway is that, too often, well-meaning governmental and non-governmental interventions intended to help Maasai girls have alienated elders and overlooked the value of community-led solutions grounded in existing Maasai social and cultural capital.
Center for Universal Education at The Brookings Institution. 1775 Massachusettes Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-797-6048; Fax: 202-797-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Brookings Institution, Center for Universal Education
Identifiers - Location: Kenya