What’s the best way to help women around the world? To mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, the New York Times columnist Nick Kristof outlines his “Three Proven Steps to Advance the World’s Women,” and top of the list is education. “It’s cheap, it opens minds, it gives girls new career opportunities and ways to generate cash, it leads them to have fewer children and invest more in those children, and it tends to bring women from the shadows into the formal economy and society. . . . overall, educating girls probably has a greater transformative effect on a country than anything else one can do.”
As the 2010 Education for All Global Monitoring Report points out, much progress has been made in narrowing gender gaps in education over the past decade, but in many countries girls are still being left behind in educational opportunities. The disadvantages that girls face are compounded by other forms of marginalization, including ones associated with poverty, ethnicity, language and location. The GMR team has published an overview of what needs to be done to make sure girls get the same opportunities as boys.