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Educating Girls and Ending Child marriage : A Priority for Africa (English)

Despite progress over the last two decades, girls still have on average lower levels of educational attainment than boys in many African countries, especially at the secondary and tertiary levels. Girls dropping out of school are more likely to marry or have children early, before they may be physically and emotionally ready to become wives and mothers. This may affect their own health. It may also affect that of their children since children of mothers younger than 18 face higher risks of dying by age five and being malnourished. They may also do poorly in school. Other risks for girls and women associated with a lack of education as well as child marriage include intimate partner violence and a lack of decision-making ability in the household. Through lower expected earnings in adulthood and higher fertility over their lifetime, a lack of education for girls as well as child marriage lead to higher rates of poverty for households. This is due to both losses in incomes and higher basic needs from larger household sizes. Low educational attainment for girls may also weaken solidarity in communities and reduce women’s participation in society. Lack of education is associated with a lower proclivity to altruistic behaviors, and it curtails women’s voice and agency in the household, at work and in institutions. This report documents the negative impacts of low educational attainment for girls, child marriage, and early childbearing for girls in Africa and some of their associated economic costs. The message is clear: educating girls is not only the right thing to do. It also makes economic and strategic sense for countries to fulfill their development potential.




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Wodon,Quentin T. Male,Chata Montenegro,Claudio E. Nguyen,Hoa Onagoruwa,Adenike Opeoluwa

Educating Girls and Ending Child marriage : A Priority for Africa (English). The Cost of Not Educating Girls Series Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.