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Lack of girls' education costs countries trillions of dollars -- World Bank

WASHINGTON, July 11 (KUNA) -- Limited educational opportunities for girls and barriers to completing 12 years of education cost countries between USD 15-30 trillion in lost lifetime productivity and earning, according to a new World Bank report released Wednesday.
According to the report, less than two thirds of girls in low-income countries complete primary school, and only one in three girls completes lower secondary school. Meanwhile, women who have a secondary education on average are more likely to work and they earn almost twice as much as those with no education.
Secondary school education for girls include a wide range of social and economic benefits for the girls themselves, their children and their communities.
"These include near-elimination of child marriage, lowering fertility rates by a third in countries with high population growth, and reducing child mortality and malnutrition," according to the World Bank report.
"Too many girls drop out of school prematurely, especially in low income countries" and the consequences impact their children and household, as well as for their community and society.
"Low educational attainment reduces expected earnings in adulthood, and it depresses labor force participation, leading to lower standards of living," the report finds.
"Low educational attainment is also associated with worse health and nutrition outcomes for women and their children, leading among others to higher under-five mortality and stunting".
"Educating girls is not only the right thing to do: it is also a smart economic investment," according to the World Bank. (END) hy.mt