An analysis of gender inequality in education in 14 African countries
Pearl Kyei, Population Council
This paper explores gender gaps in education outcomes for 6th graders from 14 countries in the second evaluation of the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality). The first section of the paper estimates gender differences in three key indicators of education – investments (household and school), quantity (grade progression) and quality (reading and mathematics proficiency). The second part of the paper uses multilevel modeling to study the country-level factors driving the cross-national variation in gender inequality focusing on student socio-economic status (SES) and school quality. The findings indicate that the majority of countries have significant gender inequality in schooling. Girls make faster grade progression than boys however they lag behind in both reading and math. They also indicate that households but not schools appear more invested in girls’ education. The analyses further reveal that the female disadvantage in education is mediated by SES and school quality.