Addressing early marriage and adolescent pregnancy as a barrier to gender parity and equality in education
Despite progress in expanding access to education for girls globally, important barriers remain. Girls’ success in school – and after leaving school – is determined in part by characteristics of and factors in her household and community. Many policies and programs are based on an assumption that continued progress toward gender equality in education is hampered by early marriage and adolescent pregnancy. While education and age at marriage (and pregnancy) are positively correlated in many settings, evidence of a causal relationship is more limited. The effectiveness of policies and programs aiming to improve gender equality in education depends on a clear understanding of the barriers to success for girls, which are complex and vary between settings.