Cultural and social beliefs, attitudes and practices prevent girls from benefiting from educational opportunities to the same extent as boys. There is often a powerful economic and social rationale for investing in the education of sons rather than daughters, as daughters are perceived to be less valuable once educated, and less likely to abide by the will of the father, brother or husband. In most countries, both the public and private sectors continue to be dominated by men, leading parents to ask themselves: why bother educating our girls if they will never make it anyway?
Early marriage and pregnancy
The low value attached to girls’ education reinforces early marriage and early pregnancy, keeping girls and their children trapped in a vicious cycle of discrimination. Too often marriage is seen as a higher priority than education, and the girls who are married (even where they have been forced into early marriages against the
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