Girls’ education and gender equality

Girls' education and gender equality are central to GPE's vision of improved learning and equity for all, through stronger education systems by 2020.

Since 2000, good progress has been achieved to boost girls' enrollment in school. However, an estimated 131 million girls worldwide remain out of school and face multiple barriers to education. These include distance to school, cultural norms and practices, school-related gender-based violence and early or forced marriage. Boys and girls face barriers to getting a good education in conflict-affected areas where safety and security can be compromised and in households that depend on their labor or income.

Keeping girls in school and ensuring they can learn in a safe and supportive environment leads to many benefits for girls themselves, their families, their communities and societies.

Increasing gender equality is one of eight guiding principles of GPE 2020, the partnership’s strategic plan for 2016-2020. Achieving increased equity, gender equality, and inclusion is one of three strategic goals under this plan.

GPE mobilizes its partners to put gender equality at the heart of national education systems

Our results

41 million additional girls were enrolled in school across partner countries between 2002 and 2016
41
million additional girls were enrolled in school across partner countries between 2002 and 2016
74% of girls finished primary school in 2015 in partner countries compared to 57% in 2002
74%
of girls finished primary school in 2015 in partner countries compared to 57% in 2002
66% of partner countries had as many girls as boys completing primary school in 2016
As many
girls
as boys completed primary school in 2/3 of partner countries in 2016
48% of girls completed lower-secondary school in 2015 in partner countries compared to 35% in 2002
48%
of girls completed lower-secondary school in 2015 in partner countries compared to 35% in 2002

Sources

GPE in action

Educating a girl has a ripple effect that will improve the lives of all of those around her. pic.twitter.com/IxqpgBE36Q

— GPE (@GPforEducation) April 28, 2018

GPE's Gender Equality Policy and Strategy 2016–2020 reflects a shift from a narrower focus on girls' education to gender equality more broadly, and includes areas where boys are disadvantaged, as well as gender issues concerning teachers, administrators and systems. Specifically, GPE supports gender equality in the following ways:

Gender-responsive education sector plans: GPE supports countries' efforts to develop, finance, and implement education sector plans that are gender-responsive. These plans include specific measures to reduce gender disparities, and make teaching and learning more responsive to the needs of both girls and boys. Improvements in the physical school environment such as separate toilets for girls and access to menstrual hygiene products are also included. Together with the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative GPE has developed guidelines to support gender-responsive education sector analysis and planning.

Highlights

Children raise their hands to answer the teacher's question at Bitiw Seye 1 Primary School in Tivaouane, Senegal. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud
February 04, 2019
The extraordinary commitments made at the GPE Financing Conference in Dakar in February 2018 were the start of an eventful year. Let’s review some of the highlights, from additional funding to...
Students solving a task. Pong Tamale Experimental Primary School, Ghana. Credit: GPE/Stephan Bachenheimer
January 24, 2019
On the first International Day of Education, let’s review the key role that education plays in promoting peace, development and growth, and examine the elements that make up a great education.
January 24, 2019
Giving all children around the world a quality education can help reduce poverty, promote peace and foster development.