Knowledge Note

Progress toward gender equality over the past two decades is most evident in education goals, as primary and secondary school enrollment rates are now the same for boys and girls in many countries. Yet structural, social, and financial barriers continue to prevent enrollment, attendance, and school completion for millions of young people around the globe. And gender imbalances persist. Improving access to and retention in primary and secondary education is a critical element in achieving development objectives, including targets for gender equality. Addressing education quality for all students is also critical. Drawing on lessons from 27 impact evaluations (IEs) supported by the World Bank Group (WBG), this brief highlights opportunities to improve education outcomes and suggests strategies to reduce gender disparities in this area. The findings indicate that strategies that combine structural interventions with individual and family level financial incentives show the greatest promise for improving education outcomes and leveling the playing field for girls.

About the Presenters

Jennifer Parsons

Jennifer McCleary-Sills