GEJE works across five priority areas.  

Breaking down structural barriers to education.

Millions of children are unable to attend school due to systemic, institutional, and structural barriers, including schooling costs or transportation, child marriage or household expectations, and discrimination and marginalization.  

We are evaluating ways to dismantle these barriers. The EGER project, a collaboration with the Council’s GIRL Center, examines what works to eliminate the barriers girls and young women face in educational access, attainment, and learning globally. Our work is shaping the approaches of researchers, policymakers, and donors to advancing educational opportunities for girls and young women.  

Catalyzing investment in early childhood education (ECE).

ECE is foundational to other educational efforts, and it relies on working with families and communities as much as it does on schools. It is vital to improve the quality of ECE to ensure gender equity in these first experiences of school.  

GEJE researchers uncovered gender gaps in preschool enrollment in India where boys are more frequently enrolled in higher quality private preschools compared to girls. This evidence of early-age discrimination led to the development of GROW—Girls Ready for Our World—a play-based learning program designed to break gender barriers in child development in India and Kenya.  

Giving every child access to foundational learning.

All children, everywhere, need to learn and thrive. This begins with a commitment to equip children with literacy, numeracy, and transferable socio-emotional skills.  

Our GirlsRead! Zambia project improved girls’ literacy and non-verbal reasoning through mentored, after-school girls’ groups, using a structured curriculum and e-readers loaded with diverse books for all reading levels. 

Championing gender transformative education (GTE).

GTE ensures that classrooms, schools, teachers, materials, and education systems foster values of equity and work to eliminate harmful gender norms and power imbalances.  

We’re testing GTE models, and studying how to create safe and violence-free schools. Council researchers in Kenya have evaluated a screening tool to identify survivors of child sexual abuse in schools and refer them to care. Our It‘s All One Curriculum is used by schools and nonprofits around the world to infuse discussions of power and gender into life skills and sexuality education. 

Building STEM and critical thinking skills for an uncertain future.

As education systems increasingly experience shocks from natural disasters and conflicts, effective responses are urgently needed to prevent school closures and disruptions to learning. Children must also be provided with the tools and skills to secure their own futures as the world continues to change.  

GEJE is working with the Council’s PERCC Initiative to design, implement, and test the Girls’ Resilience, Education, Empowerment, and Needs (GREEN) Project, and to build the STEM and critical thinking skills that all young people will need in the face of escalating challenges from the climate crisis and other sources of instability.