Why poverty is sexist: Education edition

Why poverty is sexist: Education edition


Join the fight against extreme poverty


Eva, right, at Malinzanga Primary School with Ziada (left) and Jane (centre). Photo: Daniel Hayduk/ONE

This is the first in a series of blogs that present the facts about why poverty is sexist.

Poverty and gender inequality go hand-in-hand; girls and women in the poorest countries suffer a double whammy, of being born both in a poor country and female. To see the extent of this disadvantage, ONE analyzed the situation for girls and women in least developed countries (LDCs) across key gender indicators. On every indicator, life is significantly harder for girls and women in LDCs compared with those living in other countries. While that may not be surprising – because men in poor countries are also disadvantaged – ONE also found that the gender gap between males and females is larger in the poorest countries.

Today, we’re focusing on the challenges girls and women face in education – and the incredible impact investments in this sector can have for everyone.

Secondary school enrollment for girls is 3 times higher in non-LDCs at 80.2% of girls, on average, compared with 26.8% of girls enrolled in LDCs.

For example, Madagascar has 144 times more out-of school girls than Germany, which has 3.5 times the population of Madagascar.

There is a HUGE opportunity here.


Eva at Malinzanga Primary School

Ensuring that all students in low-income countries, including girls, leave school with basic readings skills could cut extreme poverty globally by as much as 12%.

Focused attention must be paid to getting girls into school and helping them to stay there, through concrete policy measures such as improving infrastructure in order to create a gender-sensitive educational environment; providing female teachers trained in counseling and recruiting professionally trained, motivated and well-supported teachers of both sexes.

Demand better for girls and women everywhere. Sign our petition NOW!


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