Date of Graduation

Winter 12-18-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Inna Arzumanova


This thesis outlines the underlying causes for girl dropouts in the secondary school system of rural Bangladesh and assesses the barriers that affect adolescent girls and their families. The complex dynamics of the historical context within the patriarchal-dominant structure of society creates a system that hinders girls’ education and forces them into marriage at an early age. Poverty and lack of parental involvement in schools, as well as societal traditions and lack of government infrastructure play an enormous role and are the main structural factors that are linked to schoolgirl dropouts in this study. This thesis also analyzes previous education schemes as well as present initiatives that have impacted the rates of girls progressing within the secondary education system. Therefore, this study should be of interest to policymakers, academics and implementers of development strategies for various NGO’s working in Bangladesh as well as other developing countries.