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The sixth report in Plan’s annual State of the World’s Girls series, ‘Learning for life’, takes a critical look at the state of girls’ education. The report argues that behind the success of global parity in primary education enrolment figures lies a crisis in the quality of learning. Enrolment figures measure attendance on one day of the school year, and they are currently the only measure of success. They tell us nothing about real access to education or the quality of what is being taught, or learnt.
All over the world poverty and discrimination continue to have a detrimental effect on girls’ attendance in school. This is particularly true when they reach adolescence and, in many families, a daughter’s domestic and reproductive role takes precedence over her right to education. Violence in schools, early marriage, pregnancy and housework continue to constitute significant barriers to girls’ education around the world. The challenge now is to make sure that all girls, however poor, isolated or disadvantaged, are able to attend school on a regular basis and gain a good quality education that equips them for life.