Thursday, 9 October 2008

The power of education

Girls' education provides perhaps the single highest return on investment in the developing world

Educated girls:
  • Tend to marry later
  • Are better paid in the workplace
  • Have fewer, healthier children
  • Are more likely to send their own children to school
  • Are better able to protect themselves against HIV
  • Assume a more active role in decision-making throughout their lives

Screen print from the Girl Effect video

Without education a girl is likely to be trapped in an early marriage which reduces her chances to develop personally and generally results in early pregnancy and birth before her body is sufficiently mature. This in its turn can lead to complications or death. Young girls rarely have any knowledge of birth control or issues such as sexually transmitted diseases/HIV. In addition, they are often married to much older men which leads to a power imbalance, frequently resulting in violence towards the young wife.

Mothers are primary educators in any setting, so educate girls and the next generation has the best possible chance of a good start.

There are of course many obstacles to education, not least of which is the availability of suitable schools. UNICEF is backing a Schools for Africa project to build child-friendly schools where they are needed. On Yummy Biscuits's blog today, you can see the difficulties that many children face.


  1. Education is so important for these girls. I totally agree with what you say.

  2. After food and water, it seems almost the next fundamental need, and most especially for girls.

  3. I must be lucky then, to have three girls (and one boy). And a wife of the same age as myself (we even went to the same school...)

  4. I could not agree to you more: education always pays and of course girls around the world should get the chance too for getting out of poverty.

  5. I agree with you..
    but, I think an early marriage doesn't always mean bad
    there the women will also get the happiness

  6. This is so true. And never more important than today. I have always thought that education was the key to escaping poverty, but it is also the key to so many other things. Thank you.

  7. Once did a physical anthropological study in which it was found that in societies with more highly educated females, there were fewer cases of children born -- period -- but also (female) infanticide...

  8. Without education, you can't do anything. It is fundamental to life.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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