By Samantha Semoso – EMTV Online
According to a new report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics (UIS), almost 16 million girls between the ages of six and 11 will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school compared to about eight million boys if current trends continue.
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.
Director-General for UNESCO, Irina Bokova says, “We will never achieve any of the Sustainable Development Goals without overcoming the discrimination and poverty that stunt the lives of girls and women from our generation to the next”.
“We must work at all levels, to put equity and inclusion at the heart of every policy so that all girls, whatever their circumstances, go to school, stay in school and become empowered citizens,” she added.
The Gender gap remains highest in the Arab States, sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia. Across sub-Saharan Africa, 9.5 million girls will never set foot in a classroom compared to five million boys. In total, more than 30 million children aged of six to 11 are out of school across the region. Some will start at a later age, but many will remain entirely excluded with girls facing the biggest barriers.
The gender gap is even wider in South and West Asia, where 80 per cent of out of school girls will never enter formal education compared to 16 per cent of out-of-school boys. This affects about four million girls compared to less than one million boys.
Source: UN News Centre