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Nigeria accounts for 20% of all out-of-school children in sub-Saharan Africa, with nearly 20 million out-of-school children.

Girls account for 38% of Nigeria’s out-of-school children. Major barriers such as child marriage, poverty and gender discrimination prevent girls from learning. 

In northern Nigeria, long-held cultural beliefs fuel gender discrimination and limit girls’ ability to reach their full potential. Additionally families don’t see the value of sending their daughters to school where they receive low-quality education. Families will often choose to marry off their daughters instead of continuing their education.

Our work in Nigeria

Malala Fund works to dismantle the barriers that prevent girls from accessing and completing secondary and senior education in Nigeria. Our partner organisations work across six northern states where girls face the biggest challenges in going to school — including cultural and religious beliefs that uphold traditional gender roles, limited economic resources, security risks from conflict and a lack of facilities for girls to properly manage their menstrual hygiene. 

Our partners advocate for 12 years of free, safe, quality education under the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act. We work with them on four key areas:

  • Strengthening policies to ensure education is safe and gender-responsive.

  • Expanding free, safe, quality education to the senior secondary level.

  • Fostering a supportive environment for girls to access and complete 12 years of education.

  • Investing in education and improving the implementation and oversight of education budgets to increase the number of girls going to and staying in school.

“Without education, we cannot achieve good health, a prosperous economy or safe communities. Investing in education — and girls’ education in particular — is key for every country in Africa.”

— Habiba Mohammed, Co-director, Centre for Girls’ Education

Today, Malala Fund supports 10 Education Champions in Nigeria.


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Where we Work

Malala Fund works in regions where the most girls miss out on secondary education.