The state of girls’ education in Malawi…
According to the World Bank, only 27% of Malawi’s girls enroll in secondary school,  and just 13% will attend.  Only a fraction of that 13% will actually finish 4 years of secondary school and only 5% of women nationally have passed their MSCE exam. 
In Malawi, gender inequity in educational enrollment is evidenced by the relative under-enrollment of girls in secondary education. In rural areas alone, girls are outnumbered 6:1 by their male counterparts.  Girls also consistently perform worse on national examinations and face dropout at a much higher rate.
The causes of gender inequity and girls’ dropout from school…
In Malawi, no high school education is free. In sub-Saharan Africa, boys earn more on the labor market, and a girl’s future is still seen as her ability to marry well. A girls’ likelihood of attending and staying in school depends in large part on:
- Her ability to pay for not just school fees, but also the associated costs of education (uniforms, exam fees, supplies).
- Her ability to get to school (often girls travel 6-8miles one way).
- Her ability to avoid pregnancy and access to accurate information about her own sexual and reproductive health.
- Her ability to self-advocate for her choices, and avoid early marriage and family pressure to drop out.
- Her access to information about post-secondary opportunities and career guidance information.
- Her access to educated female role models.
Statistics: The Link Between Girls, Education & Economics
- If a girl completes primary school her average age of marriage raises to 19.5; If she has completed secondary school, the age raises again to 22.1 
- According to research from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a 1% increase in female secondary school attendance adds .3% to the country’s average annual per capita income growth 
- After completing secondary school education, a woman’s total fertility rate drops from 6.2 to 4.3 children 
At AGE we recognize that educational inequalities for women are driving factors in early marriage, pregnancy, relative poverty for women and increasing underdevelopment for entire communities. Access to quality education goes hand in hand with the skills and information necessary to translate education into positive life opportunities. We operate from the understanding that girls’ education is a necessary precondition for development.