This dissertation examines the problems facing adolescent girls in the pursuit of their right to
education and this especially in South Africa. It presents the right to education as a human right
belonging to everyone; not a privilege reserved for a category of person. The right to education is a
fundamental human right and an empowerment right because it contributes to the achievement of
other rights. The dissertation describes the provisions of relevant international and regional human
rights instruments and assesses whether South African laws, policies and practices on the ground
adhere to the requirements’ of international and regional law. It assert that, though there has been
provision for universal and compulsory primary schooling and higher participation rate for girls, big
challenges particularly for adolescent girls are still prevalent, particularly after primary school even
though the cracks may appear very subtle and almost none issue.
This dissertation shows that to solve these problems and make the right to education realizable for
every child, the South African government should consider the cultural and religious environment
of the adolescent girl and also renew its commitments and strategies designed to improve their
retention rate and advancement at school.