Policy Lessons on Improving Education Outcomes

Significant progress has been made in closing gender gaps in primary and secondary enrollment rates worldwide. However, girls still have lower expected years of schooling than boys in some regions, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and boys have worse educational outcomes than girls in other countries, most notably in Latin America and the Caribbean. Barriers to the continuation of schooling for girls are linked to child marriage, early pregnancies, sexual harassment, and social norms around girls’ education. The COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted schooling of both girls and boys. The transition to remote learning hurt girls who often have fewer technical skills and less access to the internet than boys.3 In other cases, boys had higher economic opportunities than girls and were more likely to drop out from school in response to the economic stress generated by the pandemic.4 The GIL Federation is generating rigorous evidence around the world to understand what works, and what does not, in narrowing gender gaps in education. This note presents evidence on three key findings.