Barriers to Education for Girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo

28th February 2020
Author: Laura Bolton

There was little published literature on the barriers to girls’ education in the DRC. The main findings of the research suggest that cultural history, economic lack, and the coexistence of these are the main factors hindering access to girls’ education. Limited data suggest that inequality is less significant at primary age so looking at problems for both boys and girls is likely to be relevant. At adolescence the gap is wider and the barriers are more gendered. This review synthesises evidence on barriers hindering access to education the reasons for low attainment or achievement levels for girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Other barriers identified include: early/forced marriage, parents’ lack of interest in childrens’ activities and low value placed on schooling, and children’s disinterest in school due to lack of school quality. The research provides a very useful insight but there is agreement1 that there are distinct regional differences in the DRC. For example, rural areas have more children out of school than urban areas. Recommendations for improved learning outcomes from DFID Girls’ Education Challenge include: coaching for teachers alongside structured teaching materials, extra-curricular clubs and activities, collection of data for planning, working with boys and men to improve gender inequality, and promoting change at all levels (community, school and national).

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Suggested Citation

Bolton, L. (2020). Barriers to education for girls in DRC. K4D Helpdesk Report 750. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


28th February 2020


Continent: Africa

Country: Democratic Republic of Congo