UNICEF understands that every child has the right to an education. This includes every girl. That’s why UNICEF works closely with governments and other partners to clear the barriers that stand in their way, to keep girls in school and help them thrive.
The benefits are many. Girls who complete a secondary school education earn more, marry later, and raise children who are healthier and better nourished. Educated girls are less likely to face discrimination. They are safer and better protected from exploitation and abuse. They invest more in their communities. And they contribute more to the economy and to society.
Educate girls, change the world: Why UNICEF works to keep girls in school
In many countries around the world, there are multiple barriers standing in the way of girls getting an education, ranging from insufficient or unsafe transportation, to the high cost of books and other necessary learning materials to gender norms at a community level.
An important part of UNICEF’s global mission in education is to work with governments to strengthen social protection programs that have been shown to positively impact girls’ enrollment, attendance and learning — programs like cash transfers and school feeding programs, health insurance and school fee waivers, transportation vouchers and childcare subsidies. UNICEF and partners have found multiple pathways through which different types of social protection measures can address barriers to education across childhood and adolescence.
Top photo: A student at Mount Jean Tamil School in Mount Jean State, Watawala, Sri Lanka. UNICEF is working with partners in Sri Lanka to mitigate the effects of the country’s deepening economic crisis — including helping children stay in school. © UNICEF/UN0693363/Laknath