Do you remember what it was like being a child and feeling excited for your first day of school? Returning home to let your parents know of all your adventures? Well unfortunately, for millions of children around the world this is not the case, particularly for young girls. Young girls are being deprived of an education which is immediately placing them in a position of vulnerability. In some parts of the world, education is seen as an unaffordable luxury which is heart-breaking as education is actually a fundamental human right; it promotes empowerment and is important for our self-development. Having an education should not be a luxury but instead, universal. This problem must be addressed, as it is costly for both personal development and the national economy.
What are the benefits of educating women?
The benefits of educating girls and women are endless. Matsui (2013) has noted that “Educated women are better at managing their own and their family’s health issues, thereby reducing infant and maternal mortality”. Educating women enables them to take care of themselves and their family more effectively, allowing them to pass down their knowledge. This is supported by Bourne (2014) who notes that “educated girls have fewer, healthier and better educated children”. Educated women will undoubtedly have a positive impact on future generations.
A lack of education limits women to unskilled and low-paying jobs, preventing them from gaining the transferrable work-skills which are needed for promotions. This is a problematic issue as educating girls and women can open many doors for them, from an improved sense of empowerment to gaining the right skills needed to enter the workforce as doctors, lawyers, teachers etc.
This lack of education is also economically costly for the country. An educated workforce is an essential component of economic prosperity. By educating girls and women in developing countries, where the problem is much more severe, economic growth will boost and inequality within the country will decrease.
What are the obstacles?
Matsui lists some of the hurdles to educating young women as: culture, history, poverty. These are unique to each society and therefore the reasons will vary across countries (2013).
What can be done?
Companies can support and promote education for women (Matsui, 2013). Also more time can be spent highlighting the benefits of educating young women (Matsui, 2013).
Revenga and Shetty (2012) suggest sustained and focused public action as a resolution for the gender disparities.
What is being done?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have incorporated the importance of educating girls and women into some of their goal’s targets. Educating girls and young women has featured in Goal 4 and Goal 5. With a broader set of goals, which include more depth on the topic, the SDGs have the capacity to resolve this issue; only if all countries are dedicated to the cause.
By: Rina Kastrati
Bourne, J. (2014) Why Educating Girls Makes Economic Sense. Available at: http://www.globalpartnership.org/blog/why-educating-girls-makes-economic-sense (Accessed: 14 December 2016).
Matsui, K. (2013) The Economic Benefits of Educating Women. Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-03-07/the-economic-benefits-of-educating-women (Accessed: 14 December 2016).
Revenga, A. and Shetty, S. (2012) ‘Empowering Women Is Smart Economics’, Finance & Development, 49(1), Available at: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2012/03/revenga.htm (Accessed: 14 December 2016).