Studies, Reviews and Research

Barriers to Education for Girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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K4D, Knowledge, Evidence, and Learning for Development

There is limited literature on the barriers to girls’ education in the DRC. The main findings of the research suggest that cultural history, economic lack, and the coexistence of these are the main factors hindering access to girls’ education. Limited data suggest that inequality is less significant at primary age so looking at problems for both boys and girls is likely to be relevant. At adolescence, the gap is wider and the barriers are more gendered. This review synthesizes evidence on barriers hindering access to education the reasons for low attainment or achievement levels for girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Other barriers identified include early/forced marriage, parents’ lack of interest in children’s activities and low value placed on schooling, and children’s disinterest in school due to lack of school quality. The research provides a very useful insight but there is an agreement that there are distinct regional differences in the DRC. For example, rural areas have more children out of school than urban areas. Recommendations for improved learning outcomes from DFID Girls’ Education Challenge include: coaching for teachers alongside structured teaching materials, extra-curricular clubs and activities, collection of data for planning, working with boys and men to improve gender inequality, and promoting change at all levels (community, school and national).

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