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GENDER-BASED PERSPECTIVE

"Educated girls have fewer, healthier, and better-educated children,”

- the Global  Partnership for Education.

  • According to UNESCO data released in 2018, about 258 million children and youth are out of school around the world. Children do not attend school for many reasons — but they all stem from poverty. 

  • According to the World Bank, if families cannot afford the costs of school, they are more likely to send boys than girls. Around 15 million girls will never get the chance to attend school, compared to 10 million boys. 

  • According to data from NBSPRC, among the illiterate population above 15 years old (village), the number of female illiterates was 2.71 times that of male illiterate population; among people who have never been to school, there are approximately 32 million female and 13 million male.

Poverty is the most important factor that determines whether or not a girl can access education. 

 

Gender inequality is more prevalent in low-income countries. Women often perform more unpaid work, have fewer assets, are exposed to gender-based violence, and are more likely to be forced into early marriage, all limiting their ability to fully participate in society

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Child marriage is one of the most common reasons a girl might stop going to school. More than 650 million women globally have already married under the age of 18. It also affects society as a whole since child marriage reinforces a cycle of poverty and perpetuates gender discrimination, illiteracy and malnutrition as well as high infant and maternal mortality rates. Poverty is the main reason behind early marriages in rural areas as most families have large family sizes. With such families, most parents are unable or unwilling to take care of their children. Early marriages are therefore seen as opportunities to reduce this burden. Others who cannot feed or send their children to school, give young girls off marriage to older men. Some parents arrange marriages between their children and their creditors as a way of settling debts. 

“In many communities where child marriage is practiced, girls are not valued as much as boys—they are seen as a burden,” according to Girls Not Brides. As a result, some girls are forced out of their homes to relieve the poverty of the family that then has one less mouth to feed.

 In many situations, girls are considered an economic or financial burden — a status that often leads families to marry their daughters/sisters off for economic benefit. 

Period poverty has a serious impact on teenage girls. It prevents them from going to school, and participating in sports and social activities, and can cause health problems. 

Girls who cannot access sanitary items may be unable to attend school, as they don’t want to risk bleeding through their clothes. Or, they may avoid attending due to a lack of facilities for changing to fresh period products, or because they struggle with painful headaches or cramps.

They can also fear being teased or suffering as a result of negative stigma. In some countries or areas of society, there are outdated myths around periods, such as women being unclean, or not being able to cook when menstruating, as they’ll poison the food. 

Even if they aren’t exposed to anything this situation-specific, they may fear being treated differently when on their period, as some people believe that women are moody or irrational during this time. If the stigma is bad enough, it may even stop some girls from leaving the house when they’re menstruating.

As much as a large percentage of boys are also affected by poverty it is not as drastic as the issues girls face. Majority of them face the challenges of early manhood and livelihood, having to tend to animals and marry early. Poverty places men in an unequal power distribution within their respective society and produces conditions such as role strain, stress, low self- esteem, mental strain, and emasculation. Despite these challenges boys are still prioritised in the educational aspect as they are viewed as important assets to the family as they never leave the family in the context of girls usually leaving their home after getting married but boys do not. However it is not proven that men do actually do better in school.

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