Africa stands out in the world as being the only continent where 38% of adults are illiterate. What is more, two-thirds of these are women.
Out of 16,2 million Senegalese more than half (57.7%%) are literate, meaning they can read and write. Similar literacy rates are in the surrounding countries: the rates are below 50% in Burkina Faso, the Gambia Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Niger.
Most of the children in Senegal attend primary education, however drop rate remains high, especially for girls. Throughout the years, Senegal has faced an increasing numbers of girls in primary schooling but they are less likely to continue. The first graph shows girls being more present in schools, while the second graphs proves a shift in numbers. Drop out rate for girls increases because of various socio-economic factors. For instance, girls have to abandon education due to distance to schools, early marriages and early motherhood, poverty and child labour. Human Rights Watch reports, that more than 54 percent of young mothers dropped out of school between 2011 and 2014 and only 15% resumed their education.
Overall, female literacy remain considerably lower than male. According to statistics from 2015, out of total literate population, women consisted 46,6%.