Girls have the right same right to education as boys. Educated girls can make informed choices – and from a far better range of options. Educating girls saves lives and builds stronger families, communities and economies.
An educated female population increases a country’s productivity and fuels economic growth. Some countries lose more than $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys.
Despite this, girls and young women in many parts of the world miss out on school every day. Around 61 million girls are of school, according to UNICEF in 2016 – 32 million girls of primary school age and 29 million of lower secondary school age.
Often, girls are marginalised and are out of school simply because they are girls and it is not the cultural norm. Their chances of getting a quality education are even smaller if they come from a poor family, live in a rural area or have a disability.
Girls are four times more likely to be out of school than boys from the same background. The poorest girls also have the least likelihood of completing primary school.
There are often legal, religious and traditional practices that discriminate against girls having the chance to get an education.