Edu­ca­tion em­powers in­di­vidu­als and gives the whole world a chance

Education enables people to fully develop their personalities and to lead self-determined lives. A well-educated population is fundamental to reducing poverty and enabling sustainable economic growth and social development. x

A society can only fully develop its potential when girls, boys, women and men have equal access to quality education.

The number of children and young people not attending school is about the same for girls and boys (130 million girls out of a total of 258 million primary and secondary school age children). However, there are still gender differences, particularly in terms of educational levels, regional and national differences, and quality of education.

Edu­ca­tional dif­fer­ences between genders:

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, girls are more disadvantaged at every level of education than in other regions. Globally, 64% of illiterate adults are women. x The barriers to education for girls and women are manifold and context-specific.

  • Educating girls and women benefits their personal development, their families and society as a whole. Girls and women as trained specialists strengthen economies. Education also enables self-determination, for example in family planning. 
  • Having access to high-quality education and health services increases the chances for women and girls to decide for themselves when, how many and whether they want to have children.
  • Education helps reduce child marriages and unplanned early pregnancies. Education improves mother–child health as well as child nutrition and well-being. 
  • But it is boys and men who are the key change agents in the social positioning of girls and women and in their opportunities for self-determined family planning.



Statistically, three times as many girls as boys (9 million compared to 3 million) are denied access to basic education at all.


  1. Source: BMZ (2017) Der Zukunftsvertrag für die Welt