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Gender Disparities & Intersectionality

Globally, significant gender disparities exist: two thirds of the total number of children out of school are girls. In Asia-Pacific Region girls are more likely to be out of school in primary age, while boys are more likely to not to continue education to secondary or upper secondary levels and hence are out of school. Over age primary attendance and not completing the primary or lower secondary school is also more common for boys.  


Different factors affect to boys or girls not to attend, continue, or complete education. Intersectionality is the key term that can help us to understand the gender disparities in education.. Intersectionality refers to the way in which different forms of discrimination and disadvantage combine and overlap. Characteristics such as gender, age, disability, ethnicity, geography and socio-economic status can intersect with each other, causing multiple levels of disadvantage and marginalization.

Early marriage is one of the causes for women not to get educated further.

“In Southeast Asia, an estimated 10-24% of women aged 20-24 years old are married by the time they turn 18 (Plan International Australia, 2013). In Cambodia, 18% of women are married by the time they turn 18 (UNICEF, 2014). In Lao PDR, one in five of women aged 15-19 are either married, 10 Situation Analysis of Out-of-School Children in Nine Southeast Asian Countries divorced or widowed, relative to just 6% of young men. In Timor-Leste, where girls can legally be married at 15 and boys at 18, almost 19% of girls are married by the time they are 19 (Plan International Australia, 2013). In Indonesia, around 22% of women aged 20-24 are married by age 18. The issue came into sharp focus in Indonesia when a recent Constitutional Court decision upheld the existing marriage law that permits girls to be married at 16, whereas boys can only be married at age 19 by law (UNICEF Indonesia, 2015).”

Covid pandemic has made the situation worse, causing a risk of 24 million students to drop out from education: lot of effects will be only discovered after the pandemic and at the moment we don’t have most recent data from different countries. Covid has caused and causes bigger risks for girls and women, since majority of the housework, care taking and healthcare (paid or unpaid) is taken care by girls and women and when being at home, they are also more prone to experience domestic violence and sexual abuse. While exiting the pandemic, we should ensure girls and women return to school.

Herewith are the best resources to start working on these disparities, for more fair and equal education! Are we missing something ? , give us a shout!

Strengthening Ministry of Education engagement and leadership in rapid education in emergency response

EiE-GenKit: A Core Resource Package on Gender in Education in Emergencies

Leveraging innovative technology in literacy and education programmes for refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons

What Makes Me? Core Capacities for Living and Learning

Second chances at education can have big impacts on life outcomes for adolescent Mayan girls FLS News Issue 1210 Tue 12 October 2021

Training and support for female entrepreneurs in Vietnam: What do women want and need?

COVID-19 Is Forcing Millions of Girls Out of School in Asia and the Pacific

Countries are still falling short of developing textbooks free of gender stereotypes

Remote learning shows the power of the cloud to transform education

Keep Girls in the Picture

Panel Discussion — On the move and out of school: Migrant children’s struggles to access education in Asia

World Bank: COVID-19 school closures threaten women’s economic future

Gender-based violence in primary schools: Nigeria

Going beyond campaign promises on gender equality: A seat at the table for adolescent girls

Apple supports Malala Fund look at link between girls’ education, climate change

School-related gender-based violence impedes inclusive education of good quality

Education policies and practices continue to fail girls over early pregnancy

Malala Yousafzai Discusses Girls’ Education, Pandemic, U.S. Election In UF Event

Challenge Accepted: Supporting Women’s Empowerment Through Education

Still left behind: Pathways to inclusive education for girls with disabilities

Key Resources

From access to empowerment: operational tools to advance gender equality in and through education

Education inequalities-tool

STEM education for girls and women: breaking barriers and exploring gender inequality in Asia

Situation analysis of out of school children in nine south east Asian countries

Levels of Education

Vocational Education
Secondary Education
Primary Education
Non-Formal Education
Higher Education
Early Childhood and Pre-Primary Education