Girls' education and gender equality are central to GPE's vision of improved learning and equity for all, through stronger education systems by 2020.
Since 2000, GPE's developing country partners have made commendable progress in boosting girls' enrollment in school but girls from the poorest households, those living in remote or rural areas, those with a disability or from minority ethnic or linguistic backgrounds, remain disproportionately disadvantaged in getting into primary school and in completing secondary.
There is compelling evidence that keeping girls in school and ensuring they can learn in a safe and supportive environment, leads to many benefits for girls themselves, for their families, for communities and society as a whole.
However, girls in many countries continue to need support to overcome multiple barriers to education. These include the distance to school, gendered cultural norms and practices, school related gender based violence and early or forced marriage. Boys as well as girls face barriers to getting a good education, in conflict affected areas where safety and security can be compromised and in households that depend on their labor or income.
Fortunately, there are many proven investments that overcome the barriers to gender equality in education. These include ensuring safe and secure schools, hiring more women teachers, developing gender sensitive teacher training and learning materials, providing cash transfers, scholarships or stipends, awareness-raising campaigns and community mobilization. Investing in in education and gender equality not only supports girls' directly but also boys too and their families, communities and future generations.
Education plays a key role in making progress toward gender equality, empowering girls and boys with the skills and competencies needed to stay healthy, take decisions about their lives, secure better paid work and play an active part in the development of their community and society.
Sustainable Development Goal 4, on achieving quality education and Goal 5, on gender equality, combine powerfully with positive impacts on many other SDGs, including economic growth, good health and well-being, and poverty reduction.