Gender differences in schooling experiences among adolescents in Malawi

Paul C. Hewett, Population Council
Barbara S. Mensch, Population Council
Joseph Chimombo, University of Malawi
Richard Gregory

In developing countries, the school is the main learning and socializing institution outside the family. Investments in schooling are increasingly extolled as critical for poverty alleviation, the achievement of gender equity and empowerment, and economic growth. This paper uses the first wave of a longitudinal study on primary school quality and its effect on adolescents aged 14-16 in two districts in Malawi to 1) investigate gender differences in schooling experiences; 2) explore whether such differences are associated with variability across schools in rates of both attendance and performance as measured by results on the Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE); and 3) determine whether girls who attend schools that have participated in interventions to improve teacher quality and reduce gender based violence have more positive experiences than girls who attend schools that have not been exposed to such interventions.

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Presented in Session 20: Evaluations of interventions to improve schooling outcomes