The bottom ten countries for female education

As we approach ‘Malala Day’ on 10 November, the EFA Global Monitoring Report reveals that Pakistan scores in the bottom ten of new country rankings for education of poor females.

As we stand together on ‘Malala Day’, it is vital to stand up for what Malala believes in, and to put the spotlight on the extreme disadvantage that many poor girls and young women face in getting to school.

Our new Education for All Global Monitoring Report and our new interactive website – World Inequality Database in Education, WIDE – provides us with a global scorecard ranking the extent of education poverty in countries around the world. Pakistan is in the bottom ten countries for the proportion of poorest girls who have never even spent time in a classroom. Only six African countries are in a worse situation. It is also in the bottom ten for the amount of time that young women have spent in school in their life-time.

Almost two-thirds of poorest girls in Pakistan have never been to school. The long term neglect of education means that the poorest young women in the country have only spent around a year in school on average. Without a real step change by the government to give these children and young people the education and training they need, including a second chance for those who have missed out, they will be denied equal opportunities in work and life forever.


Percentage of poorest females aged 7-16 who have never been to school

Average years of education for the poorest 17-22 year old females







1 Somalia 95% 1 Somalia 0.3
2 Niger 78% 2 Niger 0.4
3 Liberia 77% 3 Mali 0.5
4 Mali 75% 4 Guinea 0.5
5 Burkina Faso 71% 5 Guinea-Bissau 0.8
6 Guinea 68% 6 Yemen 0.8
7 Pakistan 62% 7 Central African Republic 0.8
8 Yemen 58% 8 Burkina Faso 0.9
9 Benin 55% 9 Pakistan 1.0
10 Côte d’Ivoire 52% 10 Benin 1.1
11 Nigeria 51% 11 Sierra Leone 1.3
12 Sierra Leone 50% 12 Côte d’Ivoire 1.3
13 Gambia 48% 13 Gambia 1.6
14 Central African Republic 46% 14 Madagascar 1.8
15 Madagascar 46% 15 Senegal 2.0
16 Guinea-Bissau 44% 16 Ethiopia 2.1
17 Senegal 43% 17 Burundi 2.2
18 Ethiopia 42% 18 Liberia 2.2
19 Djibouti 40% 19 Djibouti 2.4
20 Burundi 38% 20 Togo 2.4
21 Zambia 36% 21 Mozambique 2.5
22 Togo 34% 22 Mauritania 2.8
23 Mauritania 32% 23 India 2.9
24 Iraq 32% 24 Iraq 3.0
25 D. R. Congo 31% 25 Haiti 3.1
26 India 30% 26 Nepal 3.2
27 Haiti 27% 27 D. R. Congo 3.2
28 Ghana 26% 28 Ghana 3.6
29 Timor-Leste 24% 29 Rwanda 3.7
30 Mozambique 23% 30 Nigeria 4.1
31 Nepal 22% 31 Uganda 4.1
32 Egypt 21% 32 Honduras 4.1
33 U. R. Tanzania 20% 33 U. R. Tanzania 4.2
34 Kenya 19% 34 Bangladesh 4.4
35 Uganda 18% 35 Cambodia 4.5
36 Philippines 16% 36 Zambia 4.6
37 Swaziland 15% 37 Malawi 4.8
38 Lesotho 14% 38 Sao Tome and Principe 5.1
39 Suriname 13% 39 Congo 5.1
40 Vanuatu 13% 40 Syrian A. R. 5.4
41 Rwanda 10% 41 Timor-Leste 5.9
42 Honduras 10% 42 Egypt 6.1
43 Bangladesh 9% 43 Kenya 6.3
44 Malawi 9% 44 Swaziland 6.3
45 Tajikistan 8% 45 Mongolia 6.5
46 Congo 8% 46 Lesotho 6.7
47 Cambodia 8% 47 Suriname 6.7
48 Syrian A. R. 7% 48 Indonesia 6.7
49 TFYR Macedonia 7% 49 Dominican Republic 6.8
50 Republic of Moldova 7% 50 Bhutan 6.8
51 Namibia 7% 51 Philippines 7.0
52 Azerbaijan 6% 52 Namibia 7.1
53 Mongolia 5% 53 Bolivia, P. S. 7.1
54 Montenegro 5% 54 Belize 7.4
55 Serbia 5% 55 Colombia 7.6
56 Sao Tome and Principe 4% 56 Guyana 7.7
57 Indonesia 4% 57 TFYR Macedonia 7.7
58 Maldives 4% 58 Vanuatu 7.7
59 Dominican Republic 4% 59 Zimbabwe 7.9
60 Zimbabwe 4% 60 Tajikistan 8.6
61 Guyana 2% 61 Serbia 8.8
62 Albania 2% 62 Albania 8.9
63 Colombia 2% 63 Montenegro 9.0
64 Georgia 1% 64 Maldives 9.1
65 Trinidad and Tobago 1% 65 Azerbaijan 9.3
66 Jordan 1% 66 Bosnia and Herzegovina 9.7
67 Belize 1% 67 Jamaica 10.1
68 Bolivia, P. S. 1% 68 Georgia 10.6
69 Bhutan 1% 69 Jordan 10.8
70 Ukraine 1% 70 Cuba 10.8
71 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1% 71 Armenia 10.9
72 Kazakhstan 0% 72 Trinidad and Tobago 11.1
73 Armenia 0% 73 Republic of Moldova 11.3
74 Cuba 0% 74 Kazakhstan 11.6
75 Jamaica 0% 75 Ukraine 12.3

Source: World Inequality Database on Education

This entry was posted in Basic education, Gender, Out-of-school children and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to The bottom ten countries for female education

  1. This is an excellent example of how information should be collected and used to promote the rights of other disadvantaged minorities – especially children with disabilies who have been overlooked in EFA monitoriong, partly because no data have been collected.


    • velma layne says:

      I think data collection is very important to exposing the inequality of young and poor women with respect to gaining equal access to education. Obviously the government is not doing anything to change things to help women. My question is what should be done to put pressure on this government to allow women equal access to education so they may prosper in their livelyhoods?


      • Hmm. I suspect this isn’t as much girls/ boys as you think.
        Somalia:26% more boys have done 4 years.
        Niger: 14% more boys have done 4 years.
        Liberia: 21% more boys have done 4 years. There are greater disparities based on wealth and region.
        Mali: 17% more boys have done 4 years. There are much greater disparities based on wealth and region.
        Burkina: 17%
        I think you will find the issue is food vs. education. My niece was in Burkina teaching. In at least three of those countries I suspect safety is a huge concern. Given the levels of corruption I don’t think we’d be able to deliver food to the people who need it, let along education. (Our government is already seriously in debt, and I am unwilling to spend trillions of dollars to solve the world’s problems. If you wish to donate thousands of dollars please be extra sure it goes to the right people.)


      • Reena George says:

        I believe that is also true too. With this data we can see how we can change this world and make it a better place


  2. S says:

    Education for girls is crucial in developing countries. This report and the initiatives by 1Goal are a step in the right direction.


  3. sbekanayake says:

    Data speaks the truth always. One cannot find excuses for these anomalies. This is a wake call for those countries who are neglecting deliberately the female child from opening their eyes .I do not see in the list Afghanistan? Is it the lack of information / data where schools are burnt down and female children thrown acid.


    • Pauline Rose says:

      Many thanks for your comment. The data are indeed a wake-up call. As the intention is to include internationally-comparable data, the dataset includes countries which have Demographic and Health Survey or Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey data. At the time of preparing the dataset, we did not have this information on Afghanistan. However, data from Afghanistan have been released recently so we hope to include the country when we update the website.


  4. jackberk says:

    Female education is must need for our country developing. this report is very useful for o motivate female education. thanks for sharing this big list.

    private tutor birmingham


  5. K.M.Hasan says:

    Female education is very much necessary for developing any country.


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  9. RUMMY says:

    A very good article on women education.. Visit this link.. U vl get to know a lot.


  10. Mo says:

    HRM anyone else notice how they are all 90% Islamic nations? Anyone else notice how women are oppressed and suffer the most under Islamic nations?


    • Aisha Yousof says:

      Let me tell you that Its not about Islam here, its about people ignoring their rights to get the proper education they deserve. So don’t involve Islam in that because if people act really like Muslims in these countries there will be no ignorance. islam encouraging all people to educate not what u think. Read more about Islam and learn more about it before u give your comment. I hope u get it

      Liked by 1 person

    • nurinqistina says:

      I don’t think it’s the religious oppression because i’m a Muslim as well and i am encouraged to pursue education to the highest level in fact every women in my family are encouraged to do so. From what i see it is a cultural thing. And also Islam encourage everyone, men and women to pursue education. You’ll be surprised to hear about the amount of women included in the Islamic Golden Age.


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  12. Mulugeta says:



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  17. Aamer Malik says:

    This data can be very helpful for the particular Governments, policy makers and practitioners, so that they can divert the resources for the girl’s education and take it on their first priority. But sometimes only resources cannot solve the problem as there may be some hidden elements that restrict the girl’s education, they may be of some social, cultural and religious barriers. In some certain cases there is a need to change the mind set, which requires a lot of commitment and time. But we should remember that “ slow and steady win the race”.


  18. Tom Mackie says:

    This data was very useful towards my school exhibition.


  19. That’s why we are up education. Based on This kind of information we should fight for education. To make all children aged from 7 to 25 get compulsory education.


  20. Valdimar Ágúst says:

    By “poorest”, do you mean bottom 1% or the 1000 poorest or what? Without it, the statistics are quite meaningless…


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  22. Dan Jay says:

    According to me Female education is very much necessary for developing any country. We should take a stand for it.


  23. Dan Jay says:

    Poorest means the bottom quintile (fifth poorest households). Best wishes


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  25. Tanya Bhatt says:

    Female education is must for growth of any country.


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  30. Yes, till girls, esp Adolescent ones are not literate, that country cannot leave Poverty behind. Literacy/NFE/AE one quick alternative, till this gap is filled.


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  33. Alexis Russo says:

    This site was very helpful for my research for a project. THank you for making this useful site!


  34. Luka Deb says:

    I believe that all girls, no matter how big or small should have a right to learn!!


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  36. Daisy Den says:

    In the present times, girl education should be a must


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