It’s a great question. Educating and empowering girls is one of the greatest keys to breaking cycles of poverty.
Check out the clip, below, from awareness campaign, The Girl Effect. It shows the impact of educating girls, keeping them in school and seeing their potential income increase by 15-25% for each year they stay there (secondary school stats, for primary school it’s 10%). Educated girls are more likely to develop skills for livelihood, get married later, have babies later and choose how many and when they will have them.
They are more likely to have a contribution and therefore a voice in their communities, evening out the gender balance, and will be more likely to understand the importance of caring for their families including providing them with nutritious food and getting them off to school.
Can you see how cycles would begin to be broken?
Consider the opposite. Married at 14, baby at 15, more babies close together, stress on her young body while she continues to carry the burden of collecting water and cooking and serving; she has no contribution to the wider community and has little respect; her husband is the breadwinner but is statistically less likely to spend his money on the family.
He potentially has other wives or sleeps with other women and brings home HIV/AIDS and other infections. The children are malnourished, mum is exhausted with no voice or belief that things could be different and is completely dependent on her husband. As the kids grow, they’re less likely to attend school and the cycle continues.
Yep, I like the first one better too.
We love the awareness campaign, The Girl Effect. Check out this fabulous clip. We have a situation…
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
“If we are going to see real development in the world, then our best investment is women.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu