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Twice As Many Girls As Boys Will Never Start School – UNESCO report

Mariam Soumaguel is a teacher for first-year class at Alpha Moya School, in Timbuktu, Mali. She contributes to build a future for conflict-affected children and a peaceful and equitable Mali, through education. Photo: UNICEF/UNI203065/DickoMariam Soumaguel is a teacher for first-year class at Alpha Moya School, in Timbuktu, Mali. She contributes to build a future for conflict-affected children and a peaceful and equitable Mali, through education. Photo: UNICEF/UNI203065/Dicko

 Almost 16 million girls between the ages 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, according to a new report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics (UIS).

In the run-up to International Women's Day on 8 March, 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.

“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 one generation to the next,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in a press release.

“We must work at all levels, from grassroots to global leaders, 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.

Gender disparities remain 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, according to UIS data. 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 more will remain entirely excluded with girls facing the biggest barriers.

UN NEWS CENTER
Edu News 9134829703982742008

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