Girls still face significant obstacles getting an education
Today, more than 132 million girls are out of school globally, and despite significant progress over the last couple decades, girls are still 1.5 times more likely than boys to be excluded from primary school.
Denmark is working with GPE to help give every girl the education she and her community needs to prosper. Getting to that goal requires clearing away the enormous barriers that keep girls out of school, most prominently: early marriage, poverty, pressure to put girls to work, stubborn bias against girls and women, long treks to and from school, conflict and fragility, threats of sexual violence, a lack of sanitary facilities, and a scarcity of female role models who can improve girls’ learning.
The girls at Lycée Nelson Mandela are all-too aware of these impediments and, even though they are still in school and learning, they know there will be other challenges ahead. But there is no doubt in their minds that continuing their education will be the key to shaping a better future for themselves.
When girls are educated, healthy and safe, the whole world benefits. If all girls received a quality education, child marriage would virtually be eradicated, and lifetime earnings for women could increase by US$15 to US$30 billion globally. Education is the right of every girl – no matter where she lives and what background she is from – and it makes economic sense for countries when girls and women are educated.
Gender equality and educating girls is at the heart of GPE’s work and Denmark’s engagement
The government of Denmark and GPE are committed to promoting gender equality in and through education. Denmark is a global leader in the movement for female empowerment, promoting girls’ education and sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as economic empowerment and healthcare.
Gender equality is also at the heart of GPE’s work, and as one of the partnership’s biggest donors, Denmark is helping to support systemic and sustainable solutions ensuring that gender equality strategies are integrated in long-term education planning. This includes investing in qualified teachers (especially women who are important role models for girls) and making sure they are available in under-served communities; addressing health issues, such as poor menstrual hygiene management, which can leave many girls behind; working with communities to promote wider acceptance of the value of girls’ education; ensuring girls are safe at school and on their way to school; and using data to make sure all girls count and get counted.