Journal Article

Is mobility the missing link in improving girls’ schooling in Pakistan?

This paper explores barriers leading to continuing low levels of girls’ schooling in Pakistan. More specifically, and for rural areas, the authors examine the barriers stemming from culturally associated gender in schooling, focusing, in particular, on school availability and constraints onfemale mobility. Logistic regressions of enrolment and attrition using secondary data from the National Adolescent and Youth Survey show that even after taking school availability into account, girls in households allowing unrestricted mobility to school had 1.5 times higher odds ofever being enrolled than those who required an escort. Once in school, the need for an escort implied 1.6 times higher odds of dropping out. The paper concludes that while investment in girls’ schools, and to secondary level, is paramount for starting and continuing in school, the potential benefits will only be fully realised with accompanying measures which facilitate rural girls’ mobility.