Women & Girls & Education


Women represent 70 percent of the worlds' 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty (National Education Association, www.nea.org). In developing countries, more that half of the women over the age of 25 have never been to school (Girls Global Education Fund, www.ggef.org). Less than half of the world's poorest women who are age 15 and older have had enough schooling to be able to read and write. On average they have spent a total of one year in school, one-tenth as much as their sisters in the richest fifth of the global population (www.nea.org). According to the Girls Global Education Fund, their yearly income averages to about one percent of the income of those in the richest fifth. Every day, over 125 million primary school-aged children will not attend class around the world (www.ggef.org). Girls compose 2/3 of all the children excluded from basic education in the world (www.nea.org). Many girls do not attend school because the lack of schools, domestic or child labor, and sometimes a general view that girls do not or should not be educated. Worldwide, the gender gap in enrollment ratios is closing. However, this overall figure masks regional variation in both the starting level and the degree of improvement. Girls' disadvantaged position within the education sector is shown through limited access, lower rates of representation at particular levels, and rates of completion and rates of achievement. In addition, education is a human right and is cited in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Benefits of Women & Girls Education

Also, many agencies such as the World Bank and United Nations have noted that the education of girls is a main factor to economic and social development. When girls are not educated, a society severely slows down its productivity and its rate of growth. Educated girls become educated women and those women influence entire families, communities and nations. Each year of schooling a girl receives, produces measurable benefits. For example, in Africa the child of a woman who has not been to school has a one in five chance of dying before the age of five and a child whose mother has been to five years of school has a 40 percent lower mortality risk. Educated women and their children have better health and productivity(World Education Forum, www2.unesco.org/wef/en-leadup/findings_girls%20education2.shtm). Many women around the globe are also the primary educators and nurturers of children, which is another reason the investment on women's education is very important. "...Once its benefits are recognized, investment in the girls' education may well be the highest return investment available in the developing world"(Lawrence H. Summersiv, >www2.unesco.org/wef/en-leadup/findings_girls%20education2.shtm).

References* & Information

* World Education Forum: www2.unesco.org/wef/en-leadup/findings_girls%20education2.shtm

This site provides much information on the education of girls around the globe. It gives specific information on specific regions. It contains a lot of detailed information that would be useful for educational purposes or personal knowledge.

*Girls Global Education Fund: www.ggef.org

This site gives personal stories from girls, and teachers. The site also contains some statistics that are very useful. In addition, the site is for raising awareness about the inequities of the education of girls and offering a way that others may help.

*National Education Association: www.nea.org

This site is dedicated to information on education for everyone. It has a specific pages on women and girls and global issues. The site is extremely informative and helpful.

Other Suggested Websites For More Information

Literacy Resource Center Network: www.accu.or.jp/literacy/1rc/index.htm

This site is rather extensive, and is a comprehensive resource center for the promotion of literacy of girls and women.

Save A Female Through Education: tamil.cs.duke.edu:8080/~safe/

This is a site from a body of students at Duke University associated with a nonprofit organization in India called Sri Ramkrishna Tapovanam. This site is very interesting and it focuses on the education of girls in India.

The American Association of University Women: www.aauw.org

Suggested Books

Women's Education in Developing Countries: Barriers, Benefits, and Policies edited by Elizabeth M King and M. Anne Hill

A World Bank Research Publication 1998 paperback, 352pp.

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