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Female education is recognized as one of the critical pathways to promote social and economic development. Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa indicates that although there have been improvements in female participation, girls' and women's access to education remains limited in several countries across the region. It is evident that, once enrolled, girls are more likely to drop out of school than boys; that their academic achievement is poorer than that of boys and that few girls opt for math and science-related fields of study. While the multiple, interrelated school, socioeconomic, sociocultural, political and institutional factors that constrain female education are increasingly well-documented, much remains to be done to design and implement programs to accelerate female education in the region.

In recent years, African governments, non-governmental organizations and donors have been working together to develop programs that address the problems of improving girls' educational participation. This study is part of the Africa Technical Department's contribution to this effort. Based on a review of recent literature, it provides a summary of the state of knowledge of the factors constraining girls' schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa. It also presents an outline of how this accumulated knowledge can be used in practical ways to facilitate the design of programs to accelerate female participation in education in the region. The study also discusses some promising international experiences and strategies to enhance girls' schooling.

Kevin Cleaver


Technical Department

Africa Region
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Title Annotation:Girls and Schools in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Analysis to Action
Author:Cleaver, Kevin
Publication:Girls and Schools in Sub-Saharan Africa
Date:Sep 1, 1995
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