Skip to main content

What Works in Girls’ Education

Evidence for the World's Best Investment

By Gene B Sperling and Rebecca Winthrop; With Christina Kwauk; Foreword by Malala Yousafzai

Download the PDF

Hard-headed evidence on why the returns from investing in girls are so high that no nation or family can afford not to educate their girls.

Gene Sperling, author of the seminal 2004 report published by the Council on Foreign Relations, and Rebecca Winthrop, director of the Center for Universal Education, have written this definitive book on the importance of girls’ education. As Malala Yousafzai expresses in her foreword, the idea that any child could be denied an education due to poverty, custom, the law, or terrorist threats is just wrong and unimaginable. More than 1,000 studies have provided evidence that high-quality girls’ education around the world leads to wide-ranging returns:

  • Better outcomes in economic areas of growth and incomes
  • Reduced rates of infant and maternal mortality
  • Reduced rates of child marriage
  • Reduced rates of the incidence of HIV/AIDS and malaria
  • Increased agricultural productivity
  • Increased resilience to natural disasters
  • Women’s empowerment

What Works in Girls’ Education is a compelling work for both concerned global citizens, and any academic, expert, nongovernmental organization (NGO) staff member, policymaker, or journalist seeking to dive into the evidence and policies on girls’ education.

Get daily updates from Brookings