Education for Girls: Alternative Pathways to Girls' Empowerment

Traditionally, it was thought that government schools were capable of dealing with girls' education in developing countries.

Today, there is growing awareness of the poor quality of many schools in developing countries and their inability to give girls the competencies needed for successful adulthoods.

This paper looks at the evidence available on the alternative - multi-dimensional educational investments designed to build a diverse range of competencies (eg knowledge, skills, attitudes and values) in such a way as to empower adolescent girls.

It highlights innovative and effective approaches to the problem.

It is one of a series of five Issue Papers commissioned by the Department for International Development UK (DFID) and Girl Hub which synthesise key evidence on integrated approaches to economic assetshealth, education, social norms and preventing violence in improving the lives of adolescent girls.


"Experts increasingly question the "relevance" of prevalent educational approaches, particularly for adolescent girls. This is because girls need a range of competencies to overcome multiple disadvantages and ultimately achieve successful adulthoods in a context of persistent discrimination. However, most schools are still based on rote learning using curricula geared more towards developing academic competencies than a broader range of individual, social and economic competencies."


Cynthia B. Lloyd for DFID & Girl Hub