Education Transforms Imagination to Reality

Imagine a world where a little girl does not see poverty, gender inequality, societal pressures and violence as barriers to her education.

She feels safe walking to and from school and doesn’t fear gender-based violence by way of sexual exploitation and abuse. Instead, she feels fully known and deeply loved in a society that doesn’t consider her an economic burden to be addressed by marriage.

She is confident in her worth and viewed as an invaluable contributing member of her community. Her parents encourage her to pursue her passions rather than marry young. Her growth and development are prioritized.

Imagine a world where that little girl’s dreams and aspirations are achievable.

Educating girls transforms this imaginary world into a tangible reality.

Gender Parity in Education Benefits Everyone

Despite global efforts toward gender equality in education, the fight against social and cultural biases around a girl’s role at home and in the workforce, particularly in low- and middle-income countries,* affects progress toward gender parity.

Currently, 66% of countries have achieved gender parity in primary education, 45% at the secondary level and 25% in upper secondary education.1

Additionally, UNICEF estimates 132 million girls are out of school worldwide, including 34.3 million of primary school age.1

Compounding benefits arise from girls’ education on multiple levels. Girls’ education strengthens economies, reduces inequality and contributes to more stable and resilient communities for everyone.

The Benefits of Girls’ Education

Individual

Education informs girls about personal hygiene, health care and nutrition. Classroom attendance and access to health-related information allow girls to make informed decisions about their sexual activity. These decisions reduce the likelihood of child pregnancies. Education also decreases a girl’s risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS.

Additionally, girls in school report higher levels of self-esteem and psychological well-being than their uneducated counterparts. They gain awareness of their rights and have greater confidence in their abilities.

Family

Families in poverty sometimes view marriage as a means to financial security. With limited resources, parents often choose to invest in a boy’s primary and secondary school before a girl’s. Many cultures devalue women and place them socially, politically and economically below men. Such cultures impose a social pressure on families to marry off their girls.

Keeping girls in school decreases the incidence of early and childhood marriage. But 10 million additional girls are now at risk of child marriage due to COVID-19.2

According to the World Bank, for every year a girl completes secondary education, she reduces her chance of marrying before age 18 by 5% or more.3

Reducing child marriages also helps lower the global fertility rate. This assists with offsetting overpopulation that harms lower-income countries. Girls who remain in school tend to have fewer, healthier and more educated children. Educated mothers create a more knowledgeable nation.

Society

Women are vastly underrepresented in the global labor market and are also underrepresented in basic civic engagement and local leadership positions. With women accounting for half of the human capital in any nation’s economy, restricting the spheres in which they are able to contribute stagnates potential growth and development.

Educating girls strengthens the global economy. As education offers girls more opportunities for vocational advancement, educated girls are more likely to join the labor market. Each year of education that a girl completes increases her wages.

Also, educated women tend to invest most of their income back into their family. This benefits their children and upcoming generations, increasing the likelihood of a more literate and educated nation in the future.

Schooled girls are more likely to be active contributing members in their communities. They are more informed decision-makers and idea-generators for solutions to global poverty.

“When 130 million girls are unable to become engineers or journalists or CEOs because education is out of their reach, our world misses out on trillions of dollars that could strengthen the global economy, public health and stability." — Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai

Support Girls’ Education

When you invest in a girl’s education through Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program, your sponsorship opens up opportunities to her that she may otherwise never have.

Child sponsorship, one of the most effective strategies for helping the poor,4 offers girls:

  • Greater awareness of their rights.
  • Improved confidence in their abilities.
  • Strong self-worth and sound self-esteem.
  • Goals and ambitions beyond societal expectations and current norms.
  • Key life skills training and vocational opportunities.
  • An opportunity for equality in the workforce.
  • The ability to help forge a gender-equal world.
  • A life beyond illiteracy and poverty for their children.

The effects that your positive and supporting voice can have on a young girl’s life can be transformative, and the changes that an encouraged and empowered girl can later bring to the world are profound.

Sponsor and Help Educate a Girl Today!

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Sources:

1 “Girls' Education.” UNICEF, 19 Jan. 2020, www.unicef.org/education/girls-education

2 10 Million Additional Girls at Risk of Child Marriage Due to COVID-19, UNICEF, 7 Mar. 2021, www.unicef.org/press-releases/10-million-additional-girls-risk-child-marriage-due-covid-19.

3 “Educating Girls, Ending Child Marriage.” World Bank, World Bank Group, 2017, https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/immersive-story/2017/08/22/educating-girls-ending-child-marriage

4 Wydick, Bruce. "Cost-Effective Compassion: The 10 Most Popular Strategies for Helping the Poor." Christianity Today. www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/february/popular-strategies-helping-the-poor.html Accessed 17 February 2012