Gender disparities.

 
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Byline: MISBAH IMTIAZ - Islamabad

There are almost 22.5 million kids out of school. Girls are affected in particular. In Pakistan, 32% of girls in primary school age are out of school, compared with 21% of boys. By sixth grade, 59% of girls are out of school, compared to 49% of boys.

Just 13 percent of girls in ninth grade are still in school. All boys and girls in disproportionate numbers are losing out on schooling, but girls are worst affected. Political instability, disproportionate influence on security forces ' governance, repression of civil society and the media, violent insurgency, and escalating ethnic and religious tensions are all poisoning Pakistan's current social landscape. These forces are distracting from the government's obligation to deliver important services such as education and girls are losing most.

There are large numbers of out- of-school children across the country, and significant gender disparities in education, but some areas are much worse than others. In Balochistan, the province with the lowest percentage of educated women, 81% of women did not finish primary school , compared with 52% of men. Seventy-five per cent of women had never attended school at all, compared to 40 percent of men. According to this data, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had higher education rates but equally wide...

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