Publication Date



Womens education, Females, Developing countries, Primary education, Secondary education, Gender equity, Access to education, Sociocultural patterns, Educational quality, Educational policy, Qualitative research


Enhancing girls’ access to high-quality education is a global priority that is articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is also a national priority in Malawi. The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) was contracted by UNICEF, to conduct an education sector review of girls’ primary and secondary education in Malawi. The review aimed to: outline the current context and challenges relating to girls’ education in Malawi; identify the key factors contributing to gender inequalities in educational access and outcomes; provide an overview of the policies and strategies currently in place to enhance girls’ education; provide recommendations to help feed into future policy and program decisions. A wide range of factors contribute to issues of access, quality and equity in girls’ education in Malawi. Addressing the sociocultural factors, school infrastructure and facility factors, and economic factors that impact on girls’ education has been a priority of the Malawi Government, along with many donors and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Stakeholders from government, donor organisations, NGOs, United Nations (UN) organisations and community members were consulted as part of this research and were asked for their perspectives on the successes, challenges and future priorities for girls’ education. Four overarching themes were identified from these consultations. The first theme was the need for a holistic approach to girls’ education. The second theme was the need for processes and structures to facilitate a coordinated and collaborative approach to girls’ education in Malawi. The third theme was funding. The fourth theme was evidence-based decision making. In addition, seven priorities to further enhance girls’ education in Malawi were identified as part of this research.

Place of Publication

Melbourne Vic


Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)



Geographic Subject

Africa, Malawi


Article Location