We investigate empirically whether political institutions or culture and religion underlie gender inequality in education. The dataset contains up to 157 countries over the 1991-2006 period. The results indicate that political institutions do not significantly influence education of girls: autocratic regimes do not discriminate against girls in denying educational opportunities and democracies do not discriminate by gender when providing educational opportunities. The primary influence on gender inequality in education is through culture and religion. Discrimination against girls is especially pronounced in Muslim dominated countries.