Briefing paper
1 April 2022

Social norms and girls' education: A study of eight sub-Saharan African countries

Author: Gloria Diamond
Published by: Gender at the Centre, UNGEI
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This policy paper combines the main findings from a literature review on social norms and girls' education with new evidence, including in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The paper begins with a brief situational update of the key challenges to girls’ education and gender equality in the region, underpinned by social norms, and an analysis of the continental and regional policy architecture relevant to the advancement of girls’ education and gender equality in Africa. Case studies from the eight GCI countries follow, each of which include a snapshot of the national policy and legal framework for gender and education. The case studies explore country- level, existing evidence on social norms and girls’ education in more detail, identifying potential entry points and promising approaches for social norm transformation. The paper concludes with broad findings from across the eight GCI country case studies and actionable recommendations. This policy paper and its recommendations are targeted towards the GCI Alliance, policymakers, education and gender practitioners, ministry personnel, (I)NGOs and civil society.