Why do women in most developing countries lag behind men in literacy? Why do women get less schooling than men? This anthology examines the educational decisions that deprive women of an equal education. It assembles the most up-to-date data, organized by region. Each paper links the data with other measures of economic and social development. This approach helps explain the effects different levels of education have on womens’ fertility, mortality rates, life expectancy, and income. Also described are the effects of women’s education on family welfare. The authors look at family size and women’s labor status and earnings. They examine child and maternal health, as well as investments in children’s education. Their investigation demonstrates that women with a better education enjoy greater economic growth and provide a more nurturing family life. It suggests that when a country denies women an equal education, the nation’s welfare suffers. Current strategies used to improve schooling for girls and women are examined in detail. The authors suggest an ambitious agenda for educating women. It seeks to close the gender gap by the next century. Published for The World Bank by The Johns Hopkins University Press.