Fulfilling the Promise of Quality Education for Girls


While significant progress has been made for girls’ education around the world, our partner and friend Dana Schmidt of Echidna Giving notes in the Stanford Social Innovation Review that efforts to unlock the full promise of young women through quality education continue to fall short. It’s not enough to focus on educating girls, we need to improve how we focus on them. In order to do so, we must critically examine conventional wisdom about education for girls and abandon common approaches that have failed to produce real progress.

The article, The Half-Truths that Have Sidetracked Girls’ Education, mentions Educate! as an example of a lesser-known, evidence-based program that is improving the quality of education for girls, leading to measurable improvements in their life outcomes:

Programs that get more children into school or improve their outcomes often benefit girls the most. For example, graduates of Educate!—a program that trains and mentors youth in Uganda on leadership, entrepreneurship, and workforce readiness—increase their income by 105 percent more than peers who are not in the program. Female graduates increase their income by 120 percent. Everyone benefits, but because girls’ start off the most disadvantaged and because Educate! is attentive to gender in its programming, they benefit the most. Even if girls do not benefit more from a program than boys do, the best way to improve their educational outcomes still may be through programs that improve education for everyone.

Educate!’s approach to closing the skills gap is unique: while we work to equip all youth with practical, relevant skills, evidence shows that our programs benefit girls more, because girls start at a lower baseline and therefore can see larger gains. Using Educate! as an example, the article illustrates a “whole truth”: just because a strategy is working doesn’t mean it is popular or visible.

Interested in learning more about how we’re working to close the skills gap? Read more about how we’re investing in girls here.