When accounting for the most negatively affected populations in unfavorable situations worldwide, children and women are often present in large numbers. Across the globe, women and girls are considered at most risk of economic exclusion, missing education opportunities, facing abuse, sexual exploitation, violence and forced marriage during normal times and even more so during conflict and crises.
Too many girls still miss out on education
UNICEF estimates that around the world 130 million girls are out of school, including 32 million of primary school age, 30 million of lower-secondary school age, and 67 million of upper-secondary school age. It is also estimated that twice as many girls are likely to drop out of school in conflict prone countries than in unaffected ones.
Girls are missing out on their education because of various factors, including poverty, child marriage, gender-based violence, conflict, and patriarchal gender norms that often favor boys when investing in education.
Education plays a key role in economic growth in terms of increased productivity, efficiency, improved income and socialization or social integration. When girls miss education, they risk being excluded from lifelong self-actualization including exploring their maximum productivity, social capital, problem solving and intellectual skills.
For millions of girls across Africa, the thought of joining school remains far-fetched. Administrative barriers include gaps in translating commitments to action, selective education budget financing, minimal capacity building initiatives and lack of information decentralization. Moreover, countries haven’t prepared enough to mitigate the effects the pandemic on girls’ opportunities.