Prevalence of out-of-school girl children in Africa and South Asia: New Report

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A new book titled “Inexcusable Absence: Why 60 million Girls Still Aren't in School and What to do about it”, has been published by the Center for Global Development and was launched June 21, 2007 in Washington, DC. The book finds the differences between girls from minority and majority groups in enrolling in and completing school, which was a previously neglected phenomenon.

The report found that while girls are catching up to and even surpassing boys in school in various countries, girls from excluded minority groups remain at the bottom in terms of education. The number of out-of-school girls worldwide has fallen from 60 million to an estimated 43 million in 2006, but the problem persists in countries where minorities are economically and socially disadvantaged, and women are secluded. Most out-of-school girls reside in the continents of Africa (47 percent) and South Asia (25 percent), but in Latin America girls from minority groups represent  the highest proportion of out-of-school girls..Studies have shown that closing the education gender gap has a positive impact on economic growth. Educated girls are more likely to enter the work force, earn higher incomes, delay marriage, plan their families, and seek an education for their own children.

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Interventions to improve girl children's educational standards include:

Altering education policies and addressing discrimination;
Expanding options for schooling, such as non-formal schools and distance learning;
Improving the quality and relevance of schools and classrooms;
Supporting compensatory preschool and in-school programs;
Creating incentives for households to send girls to school;

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