How Educating Girls Impacts the Entire World
We all know the benefits to the individual girl when she is given an education. She can go on to be more independent, self-sufficient, have a career, etc. But educating young girls actually has a much larger impact on a local, national, and global scale, and uplifts society as a whole when young girls are given an education.
Right now, millions of girls around the globe are denied an education. There are 31 millions girls of primary school age not in school, 17 million of who are expected to never enter school. Denying girls access to a basic primary school education has lifelong effects, and prevents them from acquiring vital skills to work. Additionally, a lack of primary school education leaves millions of girls illiterate. In fact, two-thirds of 774 million illiterate people of the world are female.
So what changes when girls are given an education?
Reduced Maternal Deaths
If all mothers completed primary school education, maternal deaths would be reduced by two-thirds. This could save 98,000 lives. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a primary school education would result in a 70% reduction in maternal deaths. 70%. That's huge.
Reduced Child Deaths
There would be 15% fewer child deaths if all women had a primary education. There would be a 50% decrease in child deaths if all women had a secondary education. This would save 3 million lives.
Improved Child Nutrition
One of the biggest factors in childhood nutrition is a mother's level of education. When a mother has a primary education, 1.7 million children would be saved from stunting due to malnutrition. Further, when a mother has a secondary education, 12 million children would be saved from stunting due to malnutrition.
Narrowed Pay Gap Between Men and Women
Women in Pakistan with a primary education earn 51% what men earn. With a secondary education, they earn 70% what men earn
Women in Jordan with a primary education earn 53% what men earn. With a secondary education, they earn 67% what men earn.
Fewer Teenage Pregnancies
In sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia, 10% fewer girls would become pregnant under the age of 17 if they had a primary education. Given a secondary education, almost 60% fewer girls would become pregnant under the age of 17.
Lower Child Death Rates
Women with no education in sub-Saharan Africa have an average of 6.7 births. When given a primary education, this number falls to an average of 5.8, and given a secondary education, this number is cut in half to an average of 3.9 births.
For more statistics on educating girls, check out the UNESCO Fact Sheet.
The statistics are clear - educating young girls impacts society as a whole, lowering child death rates, maternal death rates, improving child nutrition, and so much more. So what can you do to help?
There are so many organizations dedicated to improving the lives of girls and women, but here are a few of our favorites. Get involved, donate, share their mission, and have discussions with friends and family.
Photo: She's The First