“The education of girls is to become a ‘cornerstone’ of development in Liberia.” Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia
With 121 million boys and girls out of school in the world, why focus on educating girls? Education, after all, is associated with the improvement of all aspects of human development for both genders.
In most of the developed world, virtually every boy and girl will complete primary school and most of secondary school with no statistical gender difference. In Canada, according to the United Nations Development Programme, half of all students will complete over 15 years of education in their lifetimes.
According to the UN’s 2015 report on the Millennium Development Goals, half the nations where gender disparity remains a problem are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. Half of the out-of-school girls there are unlikely to ever enter school, compared to 37% of boys. Regarding secondary education, 74% of all developing countries had not achieved gender parity by 2012. Only Western Asia had an equal number of girls and boys attending post-secondary education.
This disparity is reflected in Liberia, where the Educate Girls Network is working. Adult literacy rates outside the capital, Monrovia, reflect this, as only 33 percent of women are literate compared with 60 percent of men.