Islam, Regional Context, and Girls’ Educational Deficit

Kathryn M. Yount, Emory University

Access to primary education is basic to human development. The achievement of mass education, or 90% of school-aged children attending primary school, also affects demographic changes associated with national development. Nevertheless, girls’ net primary enrollment rates are < 90% and trail those of boys in many countries with available data. The causes of girls’ primary educational deficits may overlap with the causes of girls’ deficits on other dimensions of human development. For example, some scholars attribute girls’ excess mortality to poverty, low urbanization, inadequate public services, and the under-representation of women in public life. Debates persist about whether Islam affects this and other manifestations of girls’ disadvantage after accounting for economic conditions and women’s status in society. Questions of whether or how Islam influences girls’ educational deficits, accounting for variations in Islamic practice and socioeconomic circumstances, remains unexamined. This global comparative analysis will fill these gaps in research.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 163: Girls' Education in Muslim Societies