Adolescent Girls and Education: challenges, evidence and gaps
In recognition of the criticality of adolescence, the severity of deprivation adolescent girls face, and the opportunities we have to support girls, there has been considerable recent interest in better understanding adolescent girls’ lives. Of particular interest have been the pathways out of poverty for girls, with education being one of the main avenues. Access to education is critical to the human development of boys and girls alike, but girls are more often denied access than their male counterparts.
In this perspective, we look at why education is important for adolescent girls, exploring the main moral and instrumentalist arguments, as well as the evidence around investment (or lack thereof). We then present six main constraints to adolescent girls’ educational attainment. In the final section, we discuss a number of interventions that have been used to increase girls’ opportunities for an education, providing both evidence of their success, and identifying evidence gaps.