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Background

Literacy in Mali is extremely low, and the education landscape presents many challenges. Children have perhaps the poorest access to primary and secondary education, and Mali ranks almost last in the world in youth literacy rates. Mali also has one of the lowest adult literacy rates in the world (30%), a school enrollment rate for both boys and girls of only 61%, and a dire shortage of trained teachers.

In Mali, as in many other African countries, there are cultural and social constraints that significantly hinder girls' advancement and success in school. One major barrier is finding the financial means to pay for continued schooling. Another barrier is providing girls with scholastic support and role models necessary to help them cope with challenges they face in their communities and at school.

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