Pew Research: Muslim societies have sometimes faced criticism for failing to adequately educate women. Boko Haram’s kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria and the Taliban’s attack on Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai have contributed to this perception, raising the question of whether Islam itself hampers women’s education. But a new analysis of Pew Research Center data on educational attainment and religion suggests that economics, not religion, is the key factor limiting the education of Muslim women.
It’s true that, historically, Muslim women have received less schooling than females of other major religions (except Hindus); they also have lagged behind Muslim men in educational attainment, according to previous analysis by Pew Research Center. More recently, however, Muslim women have been catching up – not only with Muslim men but also with other women around the world.