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Gender Gap in Education and Poverty

Adama Touray (Phd Student)


One of the Global concerns of our time is how to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger in all its forms as stated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) goal 1 and 2. Over the past centuries, success have been attained in reducing both the total population of the poor and the poverty rates but poverty still remains high in some regions of the world, Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) being one of those regions with almost 35 percent of its populace living below the poverty line of $2.15 (PP 2017). The Gambia is a small inland country in SSA with a poverty rate of approximately 53 percent (national poverty line). This rate is one of the highest in SSA even though the country registered an average economic growth rate of 3 percent over the last decade. Thus, this chapter tries to investigate the possible explanations of the high poverty rates in The Gambia. Specifically, the chapter tries to see if the gender gap in education is among the key variables that explains the probability of a household being poor. Our results have shown that the education status of both the household head and spouse indeed reduces the probability of a household being poor. However, the gender gap in education, contrary to our expectations, reduces the probability of being poor with the results supporting women education more. Thus, we recommend the policy makers to strengthen their efforts in coming up with policies that will encourage more women to be educated especially at higher levels as this will improve the wellbeing of the entire household.