Education is a system that transfers knowledge or abilities. Knowledge of the world around us is provided by education, and when used effectively, it may transform it into something exceptional. In developed and advanced nations of the world, girl child education has been identified as a backbone for the thriving and improvement of their economies.
According to UNICEF, around the world, 129 million girls are out of school, including 32 million of primary school age, and 97 million of secondary school age. Formal education of the girl child is therefore one topic that cannot be overemphasized.
The creation, application, and dissemination of information are essential for ensuring the growth of dynamic, globally competitive economies. This makes it important for both men and women to be educated, irrespective of their gender so that both sexes can contribute to society in the same way. However, it’s quite essential to give our girl children a good education and the following are the reasons why:
- Low incidence of infant mortality rates
Underdeveloped countries with low education levels report thousands of children dying before the age of five. When a girl is given the opportunity of formal education, she knows when she should seek medical care for her child, ensures her children are immunized, and has knowledge about her children’s nutritional requirements. She also practices better hygiene. This makes their infants and children healthier and better nourished thereby ensuring their survival beyond five years of age.
- Low maternal deaths
A girl without education often gets married off at a very early age, typically when she is in her early teenage years. At this age, a young girl’s reproductive system is not fully developed to accommodate a baby. When she gets pregnant, there is a high tendency for complications, and even death. However, if she is educated, by the time she has completed basic and secondary education, she is more developed and able to accommodate a baby, which reduces the likelihood of maternal death.
- Reduced poverty
When women are given equal rights and equal access to education, they are more likely to engage in business and economic activities. The more education a girl receives, the less likely she and her family will be to suffer from poverty. This way, families can better feed, clothe, and provide for themselves, thereby combating poverty both now and in the future.
- Improved general health and nutrition
Education has a significant impact on the health of individuals. Since girls are usually the heart of the home, they need the knowledge to impact reproductive health and improve infant mortality and well-being through better nutrition and higher immunization rates. In addition to empowering them with information on self-care and personal hygiene, education helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Improved literacy
When boys and girls are given education opportunities, literacy levels will greatly improve, and be evident in the increased rate of development in a nation. This is because education is vital to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
- Better awareness of fatal infections
Young girls who receive education have a better understanding of fatal diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and are thus less vulnerable to contracting them. This helps them to easily adopt safe sex methods, and also know how to prevent other ailments.
- Reduced incidence of human trafficking
An educated girl is more likely to engage in profitable engagements, making her less likely to fall victim to human trafficking or participate in related vices.
- Improved political representation
Women are underrepresented in political participation and voting around the world. According to the United Nations Women’s leadership and participation programs, closing this gap will require civic education, empowerment on all fronts, and general training. Additionally, a nation’s democracy is most likely to grow when the gap between boys’ and girls’ schooling rates is smaller. Ultimately, it would increase women’s involvement in politics as educated women can take part in politics and contribute to effective governance.
- Better child planning
Uneducated women have little or no understanding of birth control methods. Therefore, increased participation in school reduces fertility rates over time. In Mali, women with secondary education or higher have an average of three children. Counterparts with no education have an average of seven children. Education leads to a greater understanding of the methods of family planning that are available. It has also been estimated that one year of female schooling reduces fertility by 10 percent because women who have education employ reliable and safe family planning methods.
- Better economic growth of a nation
An educated individual has a higher chance of good income, which leads to an improvement in the economic growth of a society. Education contributes greatly to improving a country’s productivity. Education increases the income of wage earners and increases the productivity of employers, thereby increasing benefits to communities and nations as a whole.
When more girls go to school, different facets of their lives and the world around them can be profoundly impacted in positive and transforming ways.
Want to help young women get quality education?
At Casey Foundation, we know that girls’ education is key to stopping child marriages and teen pregnancies. We are, therefore, on a mission to fight, prevent, and end child marriages and teenage pregnancies through education, skilling, advocacy, mentorship, and empowerment for young vulnerable girls to attain their full potential. You can support us in this cause monetarily by making donations.