Global leaders hail girls’ education as “the world’s best development investment.” Educated girls have the power to grow the global economy and build a safer, healthier, more equal world for us all.
Yet more than 130 million girls are out of school. And almost one billion girls and young women lack the education and skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing labour market. Girls in low- and lower-middle-income countries are least likely to receive a full education — the poorest girls in Africa only have a 2% chance of completing secondary school. Their untapped potential acts as a brake on economic progress and sustainable development. Not educating girls and women costs the global economy $30 trillion in lost lifetime earnings.
Without enough funding, school systems cannot equip students with the skills and knowledge to realise their potential and prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.
At the G20 and G7 summits, the world’s leading economies have the opportunity to address this education crisis and in doing so, boost economic growth in their own countries and around the world. This paper presents new data insights on how current donor funding for education falls short of the financing goals required to meet global targets. Our research reveals that these funds are not targeting the right countries and fail to adequately promote gender equality in education. Just 10% of global education aid goes to the 10 countries with greatest girls’ education challenges, and less than 40% of aid aims to promote gender equality in education.
This paper calls on the G20 and G7 to launch complementary initiatives at their respective summits to accelerate progress for girls’ education. It details how additional financial resources to poorer countries and support of national education sector plans can help ensure that all girls learn and earn at full force.