Developing countries ‘need more money to educate girls’

11 Oct 17

Developing countries need more money to educate girls in order to grow local and global economies, an advocacy organisation has said.   

Under-developed nations could benefit from between $112bn and $152bn every year if the global gender gap in education was addressed, The ONE Campaign said.

ONE called on donor governments to increase global education financing, including funding existing multilateral mechanisms and establishing the proposed International Finance Facility for Education, a partnership to mobilise new financial resources.

Though countries like Niger and Ethiopia spend over 20% of their domestic budgets on education, they still perform poorly and policy reforms are needed alongside the financing, The One Campaign said. The Global Partnership for Education’s recommended target for education spending is 20%.

President and CEO of The One Campaign Gayle Smith, said: “Over 130m girls are still out of school – that’s over 130m potential engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers and politicians whose leadership the world is missing out on.

“It’s a global crisis that perpetuates poverty.”

In February 2018, the global organisation Global Partnership for Education plans to ask leaders from around the world to fund an international fund that supports education in developing countries.

“In 2018 leaders have a chance to turn the corner on the girls’ education crisis – it starts with fully funding the Global Partnership for Education. This is a global crisis and it needs an emergency response,” Smith said.

ONE called on local governments to provide the recommended 20% of national budgets to education and to implement further education policies.

One’s Toughest Places for a Girl to Get an Education looked at 11 indicators that reflect girls’ access to and completion of school, the quality of education and the broader enabling environment.

It also found that the top 10 countries for girls to get an education were among the poorest in the world and nine of those in Africa.

Within those 10 countries, girls are 57% more likely than boys to be out of school at age 6-11 and 83% at upper secondary school level.

ONE also noted that there are gaps in education data. Of 193 UN member states, 37% did not have data for four or more of the factors looked at for the 2010-16 period. Just 58 member states had complete data.

The International Finance Facility for Education is a partnership between developing countries, international financial institutions and public and private donor to mobilise financial resources to countries of low and middle incomes. 

Earlier this year, British MPs urged the country’s aid chief to scale up its overseas aid to the “shamefully underfunded” education sector.

The OECD also called on advanced economies to do more to close gender gaps, despite increased focus on getting women into public and private sector leadership. 

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