During the weeks preceding International Day of the Girl 2013, we’ve highlighted two issues that threaten the well-being of millions of girls around the world: child marriage and human trafficking. Now, we want to explore a solution that dramatically alters the landscape of a girl’s future: education.
The educational gender gap is wide. Globally, 65 million school-age girls are not being educated, and there are 35 million fewer girls than boys in primary school.
There are many reasons why girls around the world are not in school:
- In some societies, cultural prejudices oppose primary and secondary education for girls.
- Education is not free or widely available in many regions, and families of limited means who have a son will prefer to educate him over their daughter.
- Armed conflict keeps girls out of school; school bombings and other acts of terror against children (girls in particular) are used as instruments of war.
However, there is strong evidence that girl’s education might play an instrumental role in the future prosperity of developing countries. Income per capita is 23% higher in countries with more equal access to education. For each additional year of education she receives, a girl can earn 20% more as an adult. She is likely to use her education to lift herself and her loved ones out of poverty. Women and girls spend 90% of their earned income on their families.
Educated, healthy women are also more likely to have healthy children. In sub-Sahara Africa, it is estimated that girls with secondary education are 64% less likely to marry before the age of 15 and 59% less likely to give birth before the age of 17. Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their children to school.
She Is Safe provides income-generating opportunities to women and educational opportunities for their girls, freeing and empowering them to rise above cultural and economic factors that lead to abuse, exploitation, and oppression. By equipping women with income-generating skills, she is more likely to send her daughter to school, and her daughter is more likely to change the world.
Statistics pulled from the “Top 10 Facts You Don’t Know about Girls’ Education” article by ABC News, the United Nation’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report, and the Girl Effect.
This special feature on trafficking is part of the “Hope Shines” initiative, an opportunity for people all over the world to shine a light on behalf of girls into the evening sky on International Day of the Girl (October 11) and raise funds to free and equip them for a brighter future. Learn more about “Hope Shines” and register to participate today!