A failure to educate girls costs countries between $15 trillion and $30 trillion in lost income a year, a new report by the World Bank has revealed.
The study, titled “Missed Opportunities: The High Cost of Not Educating Girls,” estimated that some 132 million girls between the ages of 6 and 17 were out of school, 75 per cent of them adolescents.
“The loss in human capital wealth incurred today because many adult women did not benefit in their youth from universal secondary education (defined as 12 years of schooling) is estimated to range between 15 trillion dollars to 30 trillion dollars globally,” the World Bank said.
Less than two-thirds of girls in low-income countries complete primary school, and only one in three completes lower secondary school, the World Bank found.
Globally, 89 per cent of girls complete primary education, but only 77 per cent finish lower secondary education.
At the same time, women who have a secondary education are more likely to work and they earn almost twice as much as those with no education, according to the bank.
The world bank report was published ahead of the July 12 UN Malala Day celebrating the Afghan activist who was shot in the head by a Taliban militant in 2012 for campaigning for female education.