In spite of countless international agreements affirming their human rights, women are still much more likely than men to be poor and illiterate. They usually have less access, than men, to medical care, property ownership, credit, training and employment. They are far less likely than men to be politically active and far more likely to be victims of domestic violence.
Empowering Women through Education
Education is one of the most important means of empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process.
Education is important for everyone, but it is especially significant for girls and women. This is true not only because education is an entry point to other opportunities, but also because the educational achievements of women can have ripple effects within the family and across generations. Investing in girls' education is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty.
There are many practical steps that can be taken to reduce inequalities based on gender, which hinder the potential to reduce poverty and achieve high levels of well-being in societies around the world.
The Challenge Today
There are 600 million girls living in the developing world. Two-thirds of the world's uneducated children are girls, and two-thirds of the world's illiterate adults are women. Around the world, girls and women continue to suffer from a lack of economic opportunity, inadequate health care and education, early marriage, sexual violence, and discrimination. Numerous studies have demonstrated that educating women and girls is the single most effective strategy to ensure the well-being and health of children, and the long-term success of developing economies.
There are compelling benefits associated with girls' education:
- Reduction of child and maternal mortality
- Improvement of child nutrition and health
- Lower birth rates
- Enhancement of women's domestic role and their political participation
- Improvement of the economic productivity and growth
- Protection of girls from HIV/AIDS, abuse and exploitation
Girls' education yields some of the highest returns of all development investments, yielding both private and social benefits that accrue to individuals, families, and society.
Sources: The Global Fund for Women, The World Bank, The
Global Initiative Clinton
Note: the images are not mine