Why Education? Why Girls?

The value of an early, quality education is critical in a person’s development. It provides essential knowledge and helps develop the cognitive tools that people need to make informed decisions and experience lifelong success. Unfortunately, there are over 58 million children worldwide who aren’t enrolled in school — the majority of those children are girls.

The Universal Declaration of Human rights states that, “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.” If education is a basic, human right — not a privilege — why are so many girls not given the opportunity to attend school?

Even though we know the importance of education, based on a recent UNESCO report, it will take more than 70 years before schools are available to all children. And poor, rural African girls won’t have access to education until the year 2086.

Girls’ Education

Although it’s important to provide schools for all children, focusing on girls’ education is particularly vital since they are often underrepresented and because an educated girl creates a unique ripple effect within her family and community. When girls are educated, we see economies blossoming, increases in living standards, empowered communities, and a cycle of development that generates further success for everyone.

Simply put, investing in girls’ education is not simply the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do.

Facts

How does educating girls benefit individuals and society? Check out these facts.

Health

Health

Every extra year of a mother’s schooling cuts infant mortality between 5% and 10%.

Money

Money

For every additional year of secondary school, a girl’s potential income increases by 15% to 25%

Scale

Families

For every dollar a girl earns, she invests 90% back into her family.

Dycle of Development

GDP

An increase of only 1% in girls’ secondary education attendance adds 0.3% to a country’s GDP (i.e. more money for the country as a whole).

Overall, girls with greater education are more likely to participate in the labor force, earn more for their families, and have healthier children who also attend school.

In short, educating one girl creates a cycle of positive effects, as each subsequent generation in her family is more apt to also go to school and be contributing members of society.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, girls’ education is necessary for both ethical and practical reasons, and making it a priority can help nations and the world reach new, positive levels.

“No country can get ahead if it leaves half of its people behind.” — US Secretary of State, John Kerry.