Although it is true that millions of children do not have access to education – or have access only in very poor conditions – in too many developing countries it is the situation of girls that gives even more cause for concern. The obstacles facing them are more numerous, especially in rural regions.
If poverty is added to living in a rural community, a girl living in such circumstances – especially in Africa – has very little chance of gaining access to education. In some societies, education for girls is of no importance, as girls will assume the role assigned to them. Even if a girl goes to school, the hours she must spend on household tasks barely leave her any time for study. Girls are also more exposed to violence on the way to and from school, and even at school. The absence of toilets is another obstacle for girls, especially as they get older.
At world level, 89% of girls complete primary education, but only 77% finish secondary school. In low-income countries the numbers fall to less than two thirds in the case of primary school, while only one third of girls complete lower secondary education.
Education for girls has an impact in several areas:
- incomes and living standards
- child marriages and early pregnancy
- fertility and population growth
- health, nutrition and well-being
- personal development and decision-making
- social capital and institutions.
For more details on the impact of education for girls, read the book “What works in girls’ education”.
CSI is committed to strengthening the position of girls in Bangladesh by education and awareness-raising.