The Case for Educating Girls
The need to improve access to secondary education for girls remains an important issue in the 21st century. The population trends, education gaps and the ripple effect of educating girls indicate the importance and benefits of educating girls, especially through secondary school.
Population trends: Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world. More than one-quarter of the population in Asia, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa are girls. The population of young women aged 10 to 24 is expected to increase by 2020.
Educational Gaps: Approximately one-quarter of girls (over 70 million) in developing countries are not in school.
Ripple Effect of educating girls: Research in developing countries shows a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers. Where education levels are higher among women, family size is smaller and women’s health and economic status are stronger; and in settings where education is more gender equitable, economic growth is more robust.
Child Marriage and Early Childbirth: One out of seven girls in developing countries marries before age 15; 38 percent marry before age 18. In addition, one-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in developing countries each year and most of them have complications during child-birth. With regards to health, research shows that 75 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds living with HIV in Africa are female. This figure has risen from 62 percent in 2001.
- International Center for Research on Women, Girls’ Education, Empowerment and Transitions to adulthood: The case for a shared agenda, (2012) www.icrw.org/
- Population Reference Bureau, DataFinder database, http://www.prb.org/datafinder.aspx; accessed January 20, 2011
- Population Council, “Transitions to Adulthood: Child Marriage/Married Adolescents,” www.popcouncil.org/ta/mar.html; updated May 13, 2011
Good News from Swaziland
From a young girl hoping for an education, to a lovely woman with a bright future...
Nomfundo's former head teacher reports, "You will be delighted to know that Nomfundo has been an absolute star! She was our Head Girl in 2011 and finished the year with a Distinction. She was partially responsible for our school being listed in the top twenty schools of the country!
She personally came up and greeted me at the local Steers' Steak House where she was waitressing last year and told me she was waiting to be accepted into 'Varsity which started in September 2012. I have since heard that she was accepted and is receiving a Government subsidy to study at our University. I am not sure which course she is doing, but it sounded as though it was along bio-technical lines.
She is a lovely young lady - quite tall and graceful with a delightful personality - and I am sure she will go far. What a blessing that she was able to finish her schooling."