SEATTLE — Why is the education of girls important? Without educated women’s input, developing countries’ economies decline and population productivity decreases. Nations do not reach their full potential without the involvement of women. Here are a few answers to the question ‘why is the education of girls important?’
Educated girls raise a nation’s economic productivity.
According to the Global Partnership for Education, some countries lose $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys. Yet, families in the Middle East and North African regions make greater investments in the education of boys than girls. In many countries in the region, girls must receive permission from a male relative before seeking employment or traveling. Gender discrimination also makes it very difficult for girls to pursue an education in the region. If more emphasis were placed on educating girls, developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa would see growth in their economies.
Educated girls improve physical, social and emotional health for themselves and their families.
Social health is the ability to develop positive interactions with other people. Types of behavior one displays when exhibiting beneficial social health traits are showing empathy to others, developing a positive self-image and the ability to resolve conflict. Emotional health refers to the ability to regulate one’s emotions.
Educated girls create familial environments that are conducive to children and other family members developing strong physical, social and emotional lifestyles. Educated girls improve their families’ physical health by seeking medical care for themselves and their relatives. They also provide proper nutrition and sanitation to their families.
Educated girls improve their families’ physical and social health by immunizing their children and seeking quality educational opportunities for their children. The Global Partnership for Education states that a child whose mother can read is 50 percent more likely to live past the age of five, 50 percent more likely to be immunized, and twice as likely to attend school. Educated girls produce families that are balanced in all aspects of their health.
Educated girls help reduce population growth.
Educated women stay in school longer which delays childbirth to later in life. According to the United Nations Girls Education Initiative, it is estimated that one year of additional schooling would reduce fertility rates by ten percent. According to NGO Their World, the birth rate among girls with a secondary education is four times lower compared to those with no education in several countries in the sub-Saharan Africa. In countries where infant mortality is high, increasing the number of women receiving a quality education in a safe environment will stabilize the population.
Why is the education of girls important? It may be a man’s world in terms of social capital, however, the statistics do not lie. Educating girls contributes greatly to a society’s gains in the economic, health and population areas. U.S. Congress recognizes this and is currently working to pass a bill entitled Protecting Girls Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings to ensure all women around the globe have the right to an education. Acts like these deliver hope that one day all people will recognize the significance of educating our world’s girls.
– Jeanine Thomas
Learn about the Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act