Millions of girls around the world are being denied an education because they are exploited, discriminated against - or just ignored.
Millions of girls aren't at school today. They are shut out of education because of discrimination, poverty, emergencies and culture.
These girls have the same hopes and dreams as boys. They want to learn, fulfill their potential, work and help their families and communities.
But too often they are treated as second-class. They are exploited, abused and simply disregarded in many countries.
Figures from UNICEF last year showed that about 32 million girls of primary school age and 29 million of lower secondary school age are not getting an education. But a new index published yesterday by the ONE Campaign put the number of girls not in school in any age group at 130 million.
On International Day of the Girl Child, here are 13 reasons why girls continue to be denied an education.
1. Early marriage
Too often marriage is seen as a higher priority than education. The low value attached to girls’ schooling means few other options are available to them.
Boys can be affected but most victims of child marriage are girls. It is estimated that every year 15 million girls are married before they turn 18. After their wedding they leave the education system and, because they have fewer educational skills, they and their families are more likely to live in poverty.
There are child marriages in every part of the world, including Europe and north America. But the highest rates of girls under 18 getting married are in Niger (76%), Central African Republic and Chad (both 68%).
One million girls under 15 give birth each year.In many parts of the world, girls who are pregnant - regardless of their circumstances - will be excluded from school.
Many do not return after giving birth due to those rules, stigma, fees, lack of childcare and the unavailability of flexible school programmes.
About 16 million girls aged 15 to 19 and some one million girls under 15 give birth every year—most in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization.
3. Violence at school
Not only is this a violation of their human rights, it is also one of the most common causes for girls to drop out of school.
An estimated 246 million girls and boys are harassed and abused on their way to and at school every year - with girls particularly vulnerable. In Africa, half of all children said they had been bullied at school.
18 million girls aged 15 to 19 are victims of sexual violence - often leading to school dropout and reinforcing cultural practices such as early marriage.
4. Lack of funding
Too many girls are being left behind because funding is targeted to boys' education.Funding is an important issue when looking at reasons why girls aren’t in school. Education for girls is often the lowest budget priority in many countries.
Daughters are perceived to be less valuable once educated, and less likely to abide by the will of the father, brother or husband. Often male siblings will be given the chance to attend school instead.
But educating girls and young women increases a country's productivity and contributes to economic growth. Some countries lose more than $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys.
5. Child/domestic labour
Millions of girls spend every day working to help feed themselves and their families.Girls often stay home to take care of younger siblings and bear the main burden of housework. While educating a boy is considered a sound investment, it is sometimes considered to be a waste of time for girls.
Many girls begin working as early as five years old - mainly in agriculture or in homes as domestic servants. Child domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, forced labour, sexual violence and many health issues.
There are more than 168 million child labourers - 11% of all children in the world - who are working instead of learning. There are significantly more girls than boys working in service industries.
6. Dangerous journeys
The walk to school can be dangerous or intimidating,Most parents are unwilling to allow their daughters to walk long distances to school or take routes that could be dangerous.
During violent conflicts, girls are deliberately targeted by armed groups and government forces. They often suffer sexual violence, abduction, intimidation and harassment.
A study in India in 2016 found that half of all girls were sexually harassed on the way to school - including being leered at, pinched or groped.
7. Poor sanitation
Too many schools don't have separate toilets and washrooms for girls.In many parts of the world it’s not as easy as raising your hand and asking to go to the toilet.
Many girls - particularly adolescents who are menstruating - don't go to school because of a lack of privacy, unavailability of sanitary disposal facilities and water shortages.
In parts of sub-Saharan Africa and other regions, girls can miss out on up to five days of school per month or stop going to school entirely because of insufficient access to water and hygiene facilities, no separate toilets for girls and a lack of sanitary supplies. Many girls also worry about sexual advances from boys in mixed toilets.
8. Too few female teachers
The lack of female teachers in some countries can make school a daunting experience for girls. The presence of more women would provide a girl-friendly environment that would put young girls at ease.
In the United States, about three-quarters of school teachers are female. But in African countries such as Liberia and the Central African Republic only about one in five primary teachers are women.
Part of the reason for that is the lower number of girls completing primary school, let alone secondary - leaving a small pool of female candidates.
9. They live in war zones
The long-term effects of growing up in a conflict zone are devastating and UNICEF estimates that 48.5 million children worldwide are missing school because of wars and conflicts.
Girls living in conflict-affected countries are 90% more likely to be out of secondary school than those living in peace.
Attacks on girls' schools also mean many parents are afraid to send their daughters to school.
Girls with disabilities face discrimination both because of their gender and their disability, making them among the most marginalised groups of children.
Respondents to the World Health Survey 2002-2004 indicated that 41.7% of girls with a disability completed primary school compared to 52.9% for those without a disability.
Disabled girls are almost "invisible" in existing education programmes in many parts of the world, according to the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability.
11. Their countries are poor
Some of the poorest countries in the world struggle to finance an education system for all their children.
But evidence shows that if we invest more in education, poverty is reduced at a faster rate, there are long-term health benefits and greater gender equality.
An educated female population also 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.
12. Natural disasters
Unforeseen events such as earthquakes, floods and disease can derail education for millions of girls.
In humanitarian emergencies, including natural disasters, increased poverty for families and lack of employment opportunities means girls are at higher risk of early marriage or ending up in prostitution.
Even if schools are still standing, families whose livelihoods have been destroyed may no longer be able to afford to send their daughters to school.
13. Because they are girls
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.
- “I had to walk 1km to fetch water … ...
- “There is no safe way for me to get to school!” ...
- “I couldn't concentrate because I was hungry!” ...
- I've got to go to work!” ...
- I'm getting married!" or "I'm pregnant!" ...
- “I can't concentrate because there are FIFTY kids in my class!”
There are few barriers which stop girls from going to school: Poverty and child labor is one of the most important reason of Why are girls out of school in 2021. Girls from low-income and rural families have a particularly difficult time since their parents may not value education as highly.How many girls don't go to school in the world? ›
According to UNESCO estimates, around the world, 129 million girls are out of school, including 32 million of primary school age, and 97 million of secondary school age. Globally, primary, and secondary school enrollment rates are getting closer to equal for girls and boys (90% male, 89% female).
The Taliban banned girls above the sixth grade from going to school after returning to power after running an armed rebellion against US-led foreign forces for 20 years. Afghan girls now fear for their future as many of them have been transformed from students into child labourers.What stops girls from going to school? ›
Child marriage, poverty, and period stigma are stopping girls from realizing their dreams. Many children do not have the opportunity to learn, especially if they are girls.What are the problems faced by girl child? ›
Rape, trafficking, sexual exploitation, child labour and the beggary are some of the forms of violence perpetrated on the girl child. In the absence of gender disaggregated data on abuse, exploitation and violence against girl children, it is difficult to assess the magnitude of the problem.Are girls schools better for girls? ›
Girls' schools are founded on the principle that these aims are best achieved by educating girls separately. There is strong evidence that girls-only education leads to higher academic achievement, greater diversity of subject choice, stronger self-confidence and resilience, and enhanced career progression.What country can girls not go to school? ›
South Sudan: the world's newest country has faced much violence and war, with the destruction of schools and families forced from their homes. Almost three-quarters of girls do not even make it to primary school.Do girls miss more school than boys? ›
Absenteeism by gender
Boys showed a higher full-attendance rate than girls (46.6 vs. 42.1 percent did not miss any school), and boys were no more likely than girls to display extreme chronic absenteeism (1.7 percent of boys and 1.6 percent of girls missed more than 10 days of school).
Worldwide, nearly 130 million girls are not enrolled in formal education, and more than half of them are in crisis-affected countries. In Afghanistan, girls are no longer even allowed to attend secondary school.
How does period poverty hold girls back? Not having access to a safe and hygienic way to deal with menstruation can have profound consequences; particularly on a girl's education. Research by Plan International UK found that 49 per cent of girls have missed an entire day of school because of their period.What school has the most girls? ›
In Afghanistan, family preferences to have sons over daughters is so strong that in some families without sons, a girl will be made to pretend to be a boy. It is a practice that in Dari is called bacha posh – dressing up as a boy.Can girls go to school in Iran? ›
As the nation's secularization created demand for professionally trained students, women were encouraged to attend schools. Education became a social norm and a marker of achievement in Iranian society.. On the eve of the Iranian Revolution, in 1976–77, 40 percent of secondary school enrollment was female.Can girls go to school in Pakistan? ›
Pakistan has made significant progress for girls' education in the last decade — but 12 millions girls are out of school, with only 13% of girls reaching grade nine.What happens if girls don't get an education? ›
A lack of education puts girls at risk of child marriage, poor health, early pregnancies, joblessness and poverty, experts say. But the rest of the world pays a price as well, in terms of economic power and political stability, world leaders said at a U.N. event promoting girls' education. "It's an investment.What are female issues? ›
Sexism, reproductive health, gender-based violence—these are a few topics that often come up under the subject of “women's issues.” Although a buzzword, the term “women's issues” is regularly used without precise definition, and often has slighting, divisive undertones.What is the main problem of girls education? ›
The reasons are many. Barriers to girls' education – like poverty, child marriage and gender-based violence – vary among countries and communities. Poor families often favour boys when investing in education. In some places, schools do not meet the safety, hygiene or sanitation needs of girls.What are some short girl problems? ›
- People always call you 'cute,' never sexy.
- Your shoulders are often used as an armrest.
- You can never opt for standing-only tickets for any event. ...
- Your nickname invariably is 'shorty. ...
- Shopping is costly. ...
- High shelves are your recurring nightmare.
From elementary school through college, girls are more disciplined about their schoolwork than boys; they study harder and get better grades. Girls consistently outperform boys academically. And yet, men nonetheless hold a staggering 95 percent of the top positions in the largest public companies.
According to research collected by the National Coalition of Girls' Schools, graduates of all-girls schools are more likely than those attending coeducational schools to impact their communities; perform better academically; consider majoring in math, science or technology; and have higher aspirations and greater ...Why do girls do better in school than boys? ›
Teachers may unwittingly reward students exhibiting traditionally female behaviour, such as quietness and neatness, which makes life easier for the teachers, the researchers suggest. Girls are routinely given more generous grades in class than boys with the same academic abilities, according to a new study.Which country has least girls? ›
Hong Kong has the lowest gender ratio of 84.48, followed by Martinique (85.01). Curaçao, Nepal, and Guadeloupe are in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th positions, respectively.How many kids can not go to school in the world? ›
New measurement shows that 244 million children and youth are out of school - World Education Blog.Which country girls are most friendly? ›
Great question! Getting your period can cause mild cramps on the first day or two, but it shouldn't cause you to stay home from school, work, or social events.Do girls learn more than boys? ›
Girls not only do markedly better in language classes, but they also outperform boys in math and science. (The female advantage in school performance in math and science does not appear until the adolescent years.)Do boys get lower grades than girls? ›
The study found that girls were often given better grades than boys, even if they had the same academic competency. According to a recent study of tens of thousands of students and their teachers, girls are often awarded more favorable grades than males with the same academic abilities.When did girls start going to school? ›
1803: Bradford Academy in Bradford, Massachusetts was the first higher educational institution to admit women in Massachusetts. It was founded as a co-educational institution, but became exclusively for women in 1837. 1826: The first American public high schools for girls were opened in New York and Boston.What is sexism in schools examples? ›
For example, comments that girls are not as good at math as boys. Being called derogatory names related to your sexual orientation. Being misgendered by classmates or teachers. Being told by a teacher that they expect more (or less) of you because you are a girl, boy, or nonbinary person.
Many women miss a period now and then, especially if they've been under stress, been ill, or have changed their birth control method. Even missing two consecutive periods probably isn't a cause for alarm.What happens if a 13 year old misses her period? ›
What causes missed periods? A teen girl may be fine and just a little late with regulating her periods. She may have a hormone imbalance called polycystic ovary syndrome and needs to be checked for high cholesterol and diabetes. She may have an ovary or thyroid problem and need hormones.Is it OK for a 13 year old to miss her period? ›
A girl's body may not follow an exact schedule. It's common, especially in the first 2 years after a girl starts getting her period, to skip periods or to have irregular periods. Illness, rapid weight change, or stress can also make things more unpredictable.What is the oldest all-girls school? ›
Western High School opened in Baltimore, Maryland on November 1, 1844 – four years before the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls in New York. It is the oldest all-girls school in the country and is very proud of its traditions.What is the oldest all-girls school in the US? ›
Founded in 1727 by the Sisters of the Order of Saint Ursula, Ursuline Academy of New Orleans enjoys the distinction of being both the oldest, continuously-operating school for girls and the oldest Catholic school in the United States.What age can a girl marry in Afghanistan? ›
Under Article 70 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Afghanistan 1977, the legal marriageable age is 16 for girls and 18 for boys. When a girl is below the age of 16, a marriage can be concluded with the permission of her father or a judge.What age do Afghan girls get married? ›
In Afghanistan, up to 57% of girls are married before they are 19. The most common ages for girls to get married are 15 and 16. Factors such as gender dynamics, family structure, cultural, political, and economic perceptions/ideologies all play a role in determining if a girl is married at a young age.Can Afghanistan people date? ›
Marriage and Dating. Marriage is considered an essential component to life in Afghanistan and all relationships are presumed to lead to marriage. 'Dating' is almost totally limited to getting to know the person one will most likely marry and usually occurs in the company of others (such as family members).Can you kiss in public in Iran? ›
What is known as an 'inappropriate behavior of couples in public', including kissing, hugging, etc., is severely restricted in Iran. In fact, holding hands and giving hugs are a less restricted in public than kissing.Can girls swim in Iran? ›
But women are restricted to swimming behind screens that keep them out of sight from the public but also stop them seeing others on the beach. Iran's Islamic laws require that women's bodies should be shielded from men outside their immediate family.
Dress code for women in Iran
Wearing jeans, leggings, ripped jeans and loose skirts and dresses is allowed. Women also have to cover their hair using a headscarf or shawl, which can be purchased at any market or shopping center in Iran.
Only six percent of girls graduate from high school, and fewer than one percent go on to higher education. In addition, Malawi has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world, with over half of all girls dropping out of school before age 18 to marry or because of early pregnancy or the cost of schooling.Is it safe for girls in Pakistan? ›
Is Pakistan safe for women travelers? This question is more complex than the prior one, but in general, Pakistan is safe for women travelers, especially when traveling with a group, tour guide, local friend, husband, or any other male companion.Is hijab allowed in Pakistan schools? ›
In Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir's education department has ordered the female students and teachers in co-education institutions to compulsorily wear hijab.What are some reasons to not go to school? ›
- Family emergency. Using a family emergency as an excuse to miss school is another top choice. ...
- You had to pick up an extra shift at work. ...
- Death of a loved one. ...
- Sick pet. ...
- Serious injury. ...
- Attending a protest. ...
- Dentist appointment. ...
- Bus broke down.
- Left your homework/project at home. ...
- You had a bad toothache. ...
- Found a little animal, and tried to help it. ...
- Something bad happened, you were in tears so couldn't go to class.
You were exposed to COVID-19.
“My friend just texted me and said they have COVID. I was with them all day yesterday.” “I got a notification on my phone that there was a COVID exposure at school.” “My teacher went home early with COVID symptoms yesterday and I'm worried.”
Girls from poor families must overcome an especially difficult set of obstacles to successfully complete school. Poverty is the primary factor associated with dropping out.What is a good excuse to miss class? ›
- I got lost. Truth be told, this one cannot fail if you are a new student. ...
- There was a flood in our street. ...
- Our car broke down/got stolen. ...
- We had a competition in our club. ...
- We're going on a family vacation. ...
- We had a family emergency. ...
- I had to go to the dentist. ...
- My baby brother/sister needed help with their Zoom.
Acceptable reasons include a car accident, home emergency, doctor's appointment, or a religious holiday. As long as you have a legitimate reason, you should not hesitate to ask permission to miss work.
- Car (or Other) Accident. Accidents are unexpected events and usually qualify as legitimate requests for sudden leave, especially if serious injuries are involved. ...
- Death of a Loved One. ...
- Personal Illness. ...
- Child's Illness. ...
- Emergency. ...
- Car Problems. ...
- Medical Appointments. ...
- Miscellaneous Absences.
Pull at the bottom of your eyelids until it hurts then blink hard a few times; you should get watery eyes. For flu or sore throat symptoms, cough or clear your throat loudly enough for them to hear in their bedrooms. Rub your face vigorously right before they come in to look red and appropriately ill.Is it okay to stop school for a year? ›
Taking a year off college isn't the end of the world. It's likely to be a life-changing experience that can actually help you become a better and more engaged student, and provide you with skills you may have not otherwise mastered if you stayed in school straight through until graduation.How can I skip school without faking sick? ›
Tell your parents that the teacher won't be in that day.
Tell your parents that there's no homework assignment or new lesson for that class. Let your folks know that it would be better for you to stay at home and study previous lessons from earlier classes. Don't do this if your parents know your teacher personally.
By law, all children over five years old must have appropriate full-time education. Since September 2015, all young people must continue in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18.Are you forced to go to school? ›
Because the law in most places requires students to go to school, schools can discipline you for missing class.How many do not go to school? ›
UNESCO chief calls for transforming education, with 244 million still out of school.What are 3 reasons students drop out? ›
- Family obligations.
- Financial difficulties.
- Moving to a different part of the state or country.
- Unprepared for the academic requirements.
- Need a break from the rigors of education.
- Lack of dedication and time for classes and coursework.
The top three school-related reasons high school students drop out of school are they (1) missed too many school days (43.5%), (2) they thought it would be easier to get a general education diploma (40.5%), and (3) they were getting poor grades or failing school (38%) (National Dropout Prevention Center, n.d.).