Energy as a key variable in achieving universal primary education: A gender and energy perspective on empirical evidence on MDG #2.
Girls in developing countries typically receive less education than do boys. This is particularly true for the poor developing countries, although there is considerable variation in overall levels of enrolment and in the girl/boy enrolment rate amongst poor countries.
In literature on gender, energy and primary education, the most commonly recognised linkage is that access to modern energy services could free up time for girls to go to school, or to spend on homework. Another linkage generally assumed is that improved energy services at schools can create a more child-friendly environment in terms of improved water and sanitation facilities, lighting and space heating/cooling. Girls are more likely to benefit from better access to water and sanitation at school than boys given concerns for girls' safety at school.
Another linkage that could be made is that improved transport services (modern transportation, improved roads) would contribute to a higher enrolment and attainment of girls in school, as travelling between home and school becomes safer for them. Finally, improved energy services may result in girls being able to perform better at school, because they have been released from some of their responsibilities through improved energy services, or because improved lighting at home and/or at school has made their hours of study more flexible. Empirical evidence that can be found in studies done into these linkages is reviewed.
MDG Empirical Review Paper, 28 pp.