If you want to combat poverty, empower women. There are few uncontested arguments in social policy, but this is one of them. Give women control of their fertility and overpopulation and undereducation will fall. Give women financial independence and they will have the means to free themselves and their children from dangerous men.
Everyone accepts the proposition that, in general, mothers are more likely than fathers to spend money on children. Even the British government accepts it after a fashion. But religious bigotry, rightwing prejudice and bureaucratic convenience have made the coalition determined to forget what it already knows.