We know that educating a girl has a lasting and important impact on the individual, the child’s family and community. Educating a girl creates a positive cycle of development that gets us closer to gender equality. Below, we’ve included a list of some of the key benefits of education, put together by the Malala Fund, but first, let’s have a look at where we stand now.
Girls around the world are often the first to be excluded from school.
Globally, there are 124 million children and adolescents out of school. Just over half, 63 million, are girls. Yet, while more girls are in school, only 69% of countries will have reached gender parity in primary school enrolment by the end of this year. Further, those who are already out of school are unlikely to ever get a chance to learn.
The map below shows where most of these girls live.
Basic literacy and numeracy skills are the fundamental tools that will enable girls and women, as well as boys and men, to take hold of their lives and develop solutions adapted to the needs of their communities and country.
Have a look at the map below to see where in the world are we closest to (and farthest from) gender parity in youth literacy.
Research convincingly shows that programs directed to educating girls are more effective than virtually any other community investment in the developing world.
Here are some fast, hard facts from the Malala Fund:
Economic growth: Increasing by just 1% the number of women completing secondary education could raise a country’s economic growth by 0.3%. But even more significantly, increasing the number of people with strong literacy and numeracy scores can increase growth by a full 2%.
Improves wages & jobs: Every additional year of school increases a woman’s wages by an average of 12%. Also, if she has above-average math skills she can earn 18% more.
Saves lives: Increasing girls’ education reduces infant and maternal mortality because educated mothers have fewer pregnancies, are less likely to give birth as teenagers, and are better able to seek and negotiate life-saving health care for themselves and their young children. In fact, each additional year of a mother’s schooling can reduce the prevalence of diseases like pneumonia and measles by 14%.
Healthier, smaller families: Reducing the number of girls giving birth before age 17 promotes healthier, smaller families. If all women had a primary education, early births could fall by 10%. If all women had a secondary education, early births could fall by 59%, and mortality for children under 5 would fall by 49%.
Reinforces the positive cycle: An educated mother is more likely to send her own children to school.
Clearly, investing in girls’ education pays huge dividends. Please consider supporting the 60 million girls Foundation this giving season.
This year, we are investing in educational opportunities for children in Uganda and Nicaragua.
All children have a right to an education.