Togo is one of the poorest countries in the world. The typical Togolese woman is devoted to bearing children and caring for her family from the time she is a teenager through old age, and is deprived of the opportunity to pursue anything else. Only 16.8% of women in Togo use any type of contraception at all, including traditional methods of contraception. High fertility not only limits women’s economic capacity, but also their life spans, where maternal mortality is 510 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Togo's high rates of infant and maternal mortality, human trafficking, and HIV/AIDS transmission all pose daunting challenges, yet each have been successfully decreased in countries committed to widespread girls' education. Educated women marry later, have fewer children, are less vulnerable to trafficking, and are better able access health resources.
The current gap between women's and men’s education in Togo is profound. The illiteracy rate of Togolese women is greater than that of Togolese men, and while 89% of Togolese girls enroll in primary school, by the time those girls reach secondary school, the enrollment rate drops to 15%.
In 2011, The International Conference on Population and Development released a report entitled ICPD at 15, stating, “In Africa, in particular, recommendations were made for policies, laws and programmes to improve the access of girls to education and to increase their enrollment at all levels of schooling. It was noted that girls should be supported in developing marketable skills and efforts made to ensure their retention in school, including secondary and post-secondary levels.”
By helping women afford tuition, school supplies, and uniforms, Pathways Togo scholarships give Togolese women the tools they need to reach their full potential. A Pathways Togo scholarship can change a woman’s life forever, and allow her to bring that change to her community and to her world.