POSTED BY 60milliongirls | May, 31, 2019 |

Five Ways Education Transforms Lives

The Women Deliver conference taking place in Vancouver June 3–6 will bring together people from around the world to support women’s rights and education. Speakers include Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and International Development and Women and Gender Equality minister, Maryam Monsef. The conference – the largest of its kind in the world – will highlight the transformative power of girls’ education as embodied in the theme Power. Progress. Change.

This theme reflects the truth that education transforms and that girls’ education in particular empowers individuals and strengthens communities. In short, it shows that education itself can create progress and change in the world.

Nyaka School graduates, March 25, 2019

So why are some children still being left behind?  

It’s true that a recent global push for universal education led to an impressive increase in school attendance around the world. At the primary level, many countries have achieved gender parity in enrollment.

But, notwithstanding this progress, millions continue to be excluded from school due to barriers like poverty, conflict, and in some parts of the world, gender.

Despite the fact that it is 2019, girls are often at a disadvantage. As children transition from primary to secondary school, more girls than boys are left out. For children who drop out early, even before the end of primary, girls are much less likely than boys to ever find their way back into the classroom.

In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the region with one of the highest out-of-school rate, there are just 88 girls in secondary school for every 100 boys. The map below shows the disparity for children in lower secondary school, typically age 12-14, though this map shows all children enrolled in that school level, regardless of age.

In a world where facts are sometimes discounted, we’d like to highlight five ways that girls’ education transforms lives.

  • Education lowers poverty. The World Bank estimates that each additional year of schooling increases a woman’s earning power by up to 20%. If all girls completed secondary school, lifetime earnings for women would increase by US$ 15-30 billion. Clearly, this powerful income-generating potential can lift women – and their families – out of poverty.
  • Education improves health. An educated woman tends to make better decisions regarding health and nutrition. She is more likely to have her children vaccinated, her children are less likely to suffer from stunting and they are more likely to survive beyond their fifth birthday.
  • Education leads to greater gender equality. Education elevates a woman’s position within her family and community, giving her more say in important decisions, along with the confidence to do what is best for herself and her children.
  • Education can eliminate child marriage. Each year of girls’ secondary education reduces the likelihood of early marriage by 5 percentage points or more. Secondary school graduation for all girls would virtually end this practice.
  • Education creates a positive cycle for change. An educated mother is more likely to put her own children into school – girls and boys – breaking the cycle of poverty and creating hope for the future.

As the theme for the Women Deliver conference makes clear, education strengthens and empowers individuals so that they can change their own narrative. By giving girls and women a voice, education can, indeed, transform lives.

The 60 million girls Foundation believes that every individual has the power to make a difference. That is why we support innovative education projects around the world so that girls everywhere have a chance to get ahead.

To see how we support girls, please visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

TAGS : girls' education Women Deliver Conference

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