15 Surprising Facts About Girls’ Education

Harper Wilde is about more than great bras; we’re a women-run company helping to empower other women across the globe. And we know that a strong, empowered woman is the product of an educated young girl.

With helpful information from the UNESCO eAtlas of Gender Inequality in Education, we put together a list of facts about modern day education trends — some of which just might surprise you. Take a minute to take a look (and feel free to share your newfound knowledge with other #WildeWomen!)

  1. There are approximately 61 million children ages 6 to 11 years old not in school. 32 million of these children are girls
  2. Even though we have made a ton of progress over the past 20 years, girls are still more likely than boys to never make it to the classroom. And 15 million girls will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school (compared to about 10 million boys)
  3. 757 million adults and 115 million youths are illiterate. Two-thirds of those are women
  4. However, the girls who manage to enroll in school usually persist, even if they must repeat grades

    © World Bank/C. Carnemark
  5. Studies have found that having a female teacher can be very positive for girls’ school attendance and learning achievement. And globally, the percentage of female teachers in primary school has gone up from 56% in 1990 to 64% in 2014.
  6. A girl starting school today in southern Asia typically receives 11 years of education (compared to six years in 1990)
  7. A girl starting school today in sub-Saharan Africa typically receives about nine years of schooling (while boys usually receive 10), which includes time spent repeating grade levels
  8. For every 100 boys enrolled in primary school in Afghanistan and Sudan, there are only about 70 girls

    © World Bank/S. Wallace
  9. Women have been surpassing men when it comes to completing post-high school education in most countries (77%) since 1990
  10. There are now more women getting Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees than men. However, there are still gender disparities when it comes to more advanced degrees, which leads to fewer than 30% of the world’s researchers being female

    © World Bank/S. McCourtie
  11. Women are more likely than men to graduate from concentrations in education, humanity and arts, social sciences, business and law, and health and welfare
  12. Men still outnumber women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)
  13. At 45%, Latin American and the Caribbean have the highest percentage of female researchers. At 23%, Asia has the lowest percentage of female researchers
  14. There are more women researchers than men researchers in the following countries: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Myanmar, New Zealand, Paraguay, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Venezuela
  15. In 2015 at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, Member States pledge that they would adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (otherwise known as Sustainable Development Goal 4). With this agenda,  governments have committed to eliminating gender disparities and ensure that every child is in school and learning by 2030

Looking to support girls education? You’re in luck, because so are we. That is why we are proud to call The Girl Project our official Social Impact Partner. Our donations to The Girl Project will help girls in over 120 countries gain access to the education they deserve.

In addition to supporting education, The Girl Project leads initiatives that tackle the bigger issues preventing girls from getting the education they deserve, like poverty and gender-biased violence. Join us as we seek to educate girls, further building on our mission to build the next generation of leading ladies.


UNESCO eAtlas of Gender Inequality in Education, 2017