Creation of the gender-equitable school index for secondary schools using principal components analysis

Int Health. 2021 Feb 24;13(2):205-207. doi: 10.1093/inthealth/ihaa032.


Background: Higher schooling attainment for girls is associated with improved maternal and child health outcomes. In low- and middle-income countries, girls drop out of school at higher rates than boys beginning in early adolescence due to factors such as son preference and lack of access to menstrual supplies.

Methods: Using principal components analysis, we created a gender-equitable school (GES) index with data from 159 secondary schools in Nepal to measure school-level factors that may influence girls' secondary school pass rates.

Results: A component describing girls' safety and hygiene was positively associated with school-wide pass rates for girls, and to a lesser degree for boys.

Conclusions: The GES index has diagnostic and programmatic utility in programs aimed at supporting girls' education and health.

Keywords: Nepal; education; girls’ education; hygiene; principal components analysis; sexual and reproductive health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Male
  • Menstruation*
  • Nepal
  • Schools*