Girls' Education – The Facts
Millions of Girls Around the World are Still Being Denied an Education.
• There are still 31 million girls of primary school age out of school. Of these 17 million are expected never to enter school. There are 4 million fewer boys than girls out of school
• Three countries have over a million girls not in school: In Nigeria there are almost five and a half million, Pakistan, over three million, and in Ethiopia, over one million girls out of school.
LOWER SECONDARY SCHOOL:
• There are also 34 million female adolescents out of school, missing out on the chance to learn vital skills for work.
• Slow education progress for children today will have lifelong effects: Almost a quarter of young women aged 15-24 today (116 million) in developing countries have never completed primary school and so lack skills for work. Young women make up 58% of those not completing primary school.
• Two-thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world are female. For further information see 2012 EFA Global Monitoring Report; UNESCO Institute for Statistics database.
Girls’ Education Has a Huge Impact on All of Society.
Educated women are less likely to die in childbirth: If all mothers completed primary education, maternal deaths would be reduced by two-thirds, saving 98,000 lives In sub-Saharan Africa, if all women completed primary education, maternal deaths would be reduced by 70%, saving almost 50,000 lives.
Educating girls can save millions of lives: If all women had a primary education, there would be 15% fewer child deaths. If all women had a secondary education, child deaths would be cut in half, saving 3 million lives.
Mothers’ education improves child nutrition: If all women had a primary education, 1.7 million children would be saved from stunting from malnutrition. If all women had a secondary education, 12 million children would be saved from stunting from malnutrition
Girls with higher levels of education are less likely to have children at an early age: 10% fewer girls would become pregnant under 17 years in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia if they all had a primary education Almost 60% fewer girls would become pregnant under 17 years in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia if they all had a secondary education.
Educating girls is a key factor in hastening the demographic transition to lower birth rates: In sub-Saharan Africa, women with no education have 6.7 births, on average. The figure falls to 5.8 for those with primary education and more than halves, to 3.9, for those with secondary education.
Girls with higher levels of education are less likely to get married at an early age: If all girls had a primary education, there would be 14% fewer child marriages If all girls had a secondary education, there would be two-thirds fewer child marriages
Education narrows pay gaps between men and women: In Pakistan, women with a primary education earn 51% what men earn. With a secondary education, they earn 70% what men earn In Jordan, women with a primary education earn 53% what men earn. With a secondary education, they earn 67% what men earn.
Educated women are more likely to find work: In Brazil, only 37% of women with less than primary education are in work. This rises to 50% if they have a primary education, and 60% with a secondary education. For further information see EFA Global Monitoring Report.
Education keeps hunger away. Mothers’ education improves children’s nutrition. Education is vital to eliminate malnutrition in the long term – especially education that empowers women. Malnutrition is the underlying cause of more than a third of global child deaths. Educated mothers are more likely to ensure that their children receive the best nutrients to help them prevent or fight off ill health, know more about appropriate health and hygiene practices, and have more power in the home to make sure children’s nutrition needs are met.
Education lessens early marriages and births. Education empowers women to overcome discrimination. Girls and young women who are educated have greater awareness of their rights, and greater confidence and freedom to make decisions that affect their lives, improve their own and their children’s health and chances of survival, and boost their work prospects. One in eight girls is married by the age of 15 in subSaharan Africa and South and West Asia, and one in seven has given birth by the age of 17. Ensuring that girls stay in school is one of the most effective ways of averting child marriage and early births. Education is also a key factor in hastening the demographic transition to lower birth and mortality rates. For further information see EFA Global Monitoring Report.
The Bottom Ten Countries for Female Education.
The EFA GMR’s World Inequality Database in Education, WIDE, highlights the powerful influence of gender, combined with other factors such as ethnicity and location, over which people have little control but which play an important role in shaping their opportunities for education and life.
In 10 countries around the world, no more than half of poorest girls enter school, and in 10 countries, nine out of ten of the poorest young women have not completed school.
Without a step change by the government to give these children and young people the education they need, including a second chance for those who have missed out, they will be denied equal opportunities in work and life forever.