ONE’s Ground-Breaking Report
The Toughest Places for a Girl to Get an Education is the latest report from ONE’s campaign Poverty Is Sexist. It reveals the ten toughest countries and highlights some of the many unique barriers girls face. The rankings were compiled using global data on 11 factors that reflect girls’ experience of education, including school completion rates, female literacy, and pupil-teacher ratio. ONE’s analysis shows that nine of the 10 toughest countries are in Africa, and all are fragile states.
Over 130 million girls are still out of school – that’s over 130 million potential engineers, entrepreneurs, and politicians whose leadership the world is missing out on. It’s a global crisis that perpetuates poverty. This report calls on leaders to take urgent action to tackle the global education emergency, starting with fully funding the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait.
Girls who get a complete, quality education are more likely to be healthier and better prepared to enter and succeed in the workforce. Education can give girls more opportunities to advocate for their own rights, contribute to their families and communities, and grow local and global economies. But over 130 million girls didn’t go to school today. Millions more braved long distances, often in dangerous conditions, to get there. Other girls arrived at school to sit in a classroom where a teacher never arrived, or where there were no textbooks or other materials that help students learn. Because of this, in 2017, nearly half a billion women worldwide still cannot read. To make sure every girl has the chance to get a good education, we need to understand where girls are being left behind.
Even in areas where school fees are non-existent, there’s still a price to pay. Students are often required to buy uniforms, transportation, and supplies, like textbooks, pens, and notebooks, not to mention the indirect costs such as loss of potential income from missed labor opportunities or contributions around the home.
II. Violence & Security
In some regions, parents don’t allow their daughters to attend school, but it isn’t necessarily because they don’t want them to be educated. Sometimes parents keep their children home because the commute to and from school is unsafe and the risk of attacks on girls’ schools is a serious concern.
III. Conflict & Emergency Situations
In conflict-affected countries, education is not always accessible. As a result, girls in these countries are almost 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than girls living in countries not affected by conflict.
IV. Teaching & School Climate
The perpetuation of traditional gender norms can result in girls being excluded from learning important subjects like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Teaching must be inclusive and enable girls to learn the same lessons as their male counterparts.
V. Access to Resources
Where resources don’t address girls’ needs, it can limit their learning. Providing a wide range of resources that do address girls’ needs—such as textbooks, teaching guides, and the internet—all help ensure girls are both in school and learning.
VI. Cultural Norms & Expectations
Household duties, the care of family members, early marriage, and early childbirth are all factors that contribute to girls missing out on an education. In cultures where these expectations are the norm, girls’ education may be lower on a family’s list of priorities.
VII. Poor Infrastructure
Overcrowded classrooms and rundown schools provide students with a less-than-quality learning environment. Schools that don’t provide students with access to separate toilets, washing areas, and sanitary products can discourage girls who are menstruating from attending classes.
Click here to download the ONE.org report.