How to build the enabling environment for girls' education

Progress as we approach 2015

In many places, getting girls to go to school is a huge challenge.

Getting them to stay in school is even harder, and ensuring they receive high quality education is pushing development programs into new terrain.

According to the latest U.N. data, up to 123 million youths lack basic reading and writing skills, and 61 percent of them are young women.

A wide-angled approach to education

Young women and girls still face obstacles to attending and staying in school that their male counterparts do not: early marriage, gender-specific responsibilities at home and personal safety concerns, among others.

Devex spoke with Plan USA President and CEO Tessie San Martin to hear more about the state of the international community's efforts to achieve equal and universal education goals, and about how progress in girls' education requires a broader view of the enabling environment that surrounds school attendance and completion.

San Martin visited our studio in Washington, D.C., to share her thoughts as part of our ongoing She Builds campaign, focused on the intersection of women and development.

Infrastructure changes versus system changes

Want to learn more? Check out She Builds and tweet us using #SheBuilds.

She Builds is a month-long conversation hosted by Devex in partnership with Chemonics, Creative Associates, JBS International as well as the Millennium Challenge Corp., United Nations Office for Project Services and the U.K. Department for International Development.

About the author

  • Michael Igoe

    Michael Igoe is a Senior Reporter with Devex, based in Washington, D.C. He covers U.S. foreign aid, global health, climate change, and development finance. Prior to joining Devex, Michael researched water management and climate change adaptation in post-Soviet Central Asia, where he also wrote for EurasiaNet. Michael earned his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, where he majored in Russian, and his master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied international conservation and development.

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