Twice as many girls as boys will never start school – UNESCO

posted in: Africa

Paris, France (PANA) – Almost 16 million girls between the ages of about 6 and 11 will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school compared to about 8 million boys if current trends continue, according to a new report from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics (UIS).

The UNESCO eAtlas of Gender Inequality in Education shows that girls are still the first to be denied the right to education despite all the efforts and progress made over the past 20 years, says the report. The estimates are based on data for the 2013 school year.

The report says across sub-Saharan Africa, more than 30 million children between the ages of about 6 and 11 are out of school. Some of these children will start at a later age but many more will remain entirely excluded with girls facing the biggest barriers: 9.5 million girls will never set foot in a classroom compared to 5 million boys, according to UIS data.

It notes that the gender gap is even wider in South and West Asia, where 80% of girls out of school will never start compared to 16% of out-of-school boys. About 4 million girls across the region will never get the chance to learn to read and write in primary school, compared to almost 1 million boys.


Photo: Batonga