The Current State Of Girls’ Education

Ensuring access to quality education for girls is always a story, if you live in the education realm like we do. For many, though, especially if you live in a first world country with easy access to education, equal education for both sexes usually isn’t an issue at the forefront of our minds. Lately though, with the big story of the girls kidnapped from their school in Nigeria, brings the issue into the eye of the global media. The girls were kidnapped while at school by Boko Haram, the terrorist group whose name means “western education is forbidden”. While this is obviously an extreme example of education disparities between genders and different areas of the world, access to education – especially for girls, and especially in STEM subjects in ALL locations – is an ongoing issue in global education

The handy infographic below takes a look at girls’ education in 2013 – and tracks some of the progress that has been made since about 1990. Keep reading to learn more.

An Update On Girls’ Education

  • The gap between boys and girls literacy has closed since 1990
  • As of 2013, the global literacy rate for females 15-24 was 87%
  • In 1990, that number was 79%
  • For males, those numbers are 92% (2013) and 88% (1990)
  • The largest gender discrepancies are found in Sub-saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa
  • Girls have nearly caught up to boys in primary enrollment – a marked change since 1990
  • Sub-saharan Africa and South Asia are the main areas where large discrepancies still exist
  • Eritrea has the lowest % of girls enrolled in primary school, followed by Mali, Nigeria, and Pakistan
  • Secondary enrollment still suffers compared with primary enrollment, but is now nearly equal to that of males – the current rates are 49% for girls and 54% for boys
  • There are nearly 31 million out of school primary aged girls
  • There are nearly 34 million of secondary age
  • Nigeria, Pakistan, and Ethiopia are home to about 1/3 of the world’s out of school girls
  • Worldwide, more females are enrolled in higher education than males, though the reverse is true in low and middle income countries

girls education infographi

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