Education at the service of women’s leadership (EDUSELF)


Promotion of girls and women’s education based on leadership skills and exerting citizenship rights and duties.


With an adult illiteracy rate that is among the ten highest in the world (67.4%, with women accounting for 78% of the figure), education in Benin remains a major concern. And the education of the girl child, in particular, is a real problem. Their primary school retention and drop-out rate stands at barely 57%on an average (even less in rural areas). Over and above the multiplicity of causes such as cumbersome cultural practices, house work, early pregnancies, violence in school and the lack of motivation, high academic failure rates for girls persist due to the scarcity of educated female models, both in schools themselves (only 16% of teachers are women) and among local authority figures.


The project

The project aims at promoting women’s leadership and their participation in public life, in local governance forums, so that they can in turn defend girls’ education and women’s interests. In Lokossa, the EDUSELF project has implemented a global support plan for girls’ education and women’s training at a commune level and with its collaboration. The plan is completely focused on the emergence of women leaders. Over and above conventional learning, the project enables women to experience exerting citizenship rights and duties in concrete terms, by participating in community decision-making.



– Girl’s education: Basic, non-formal, technical and vocational.

– Literacy, entrepreneurship development, access to micro-credit for creating income-generating activities for women.

-Identification and promotion of model women leaders (mentorship for school girls), academic excellence clubs for girls.

– Support to commune councils for educational governance, translation of legal texts favouring women.


Project location / Lokossa Commune (3 districts), Benin
Region / Africa
Area / Access and quality of education
Duration / 2012 - 2014
The project covers / 240 out-of-school children, 270 school girls, 450 women
Project manager / Marie-Claire Ehako and Berthe A. Tehou
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