Every girl has a right to an education, but 65 million girls around the world are not in school, and even more struggle to remain where they belong – in the classroom. Every day, girls are taken out of school, married far too young, and subjected to violence in school. And yet, it’s proven that with an education, girls can lift themselves – and everyone around them – out of poverty.
The facts on education for girls
- For every extra year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 15 to 25%
- There is a 20% increase in child survival when household income is in a mother’s hands
- If 10% more girls attend school, a country’s GDP increases by an average of 3%
- When a girl receives more education, she is 6X less likely to be married as a child and will have 2.2 fewer, yet healthier children who are more likely to go to school themselves
- Each extra year of a mother’s schooling cuts infant mortality by between 5 and 10%
The facts are clear. When you empower a girl through education, she’ll change the world for everyone around her. But without an education, girls are more likely to marry young, have children early, and spend their life in poverty.
So, what’s keeping girls from school?
Many barriers stand in the way of girls receiving the quality education they deserve. Most of these obstacles are unimaginable to people here in Canada, but to girls living in the developing world, it’s a daily reality. These include:
- Early and forced marriage
- Poor health and nutrition
- Family care and domestic housework
- Early pregnancy
- Violence in schools
- The long distance to school
- The cost of education
- A lack of girls’ washrooms
How to get girls back in the classroom
Plan’s Because I am a Girl initiative works with communities to support girls’ education in the following ways:
- Provide equal access to education by developing gender-sensitive learning environments for girls
- Educate boys and men about gender equality by engaging them in developing gender-sensitive learning environments for both boys and girls.
- Keep schools safe for girls by providing them with a safe learning environment, free of violence, abuse and bullying.
- Provide school feeding programs that keep girls’ stomachs full, their brains active and offer parents incentives to send their daughters to school.
- Give girls financial standing, independence and income through village savings and loans associations (VSLA), vocational training programs and girls’ scholarships.
- Challenge gender roles through information sessions that raise awareness at home and in the community on the importance of girls’ education.
Ways YOU can help
Supporting girls’ education is one of the single best investments we can make to help end poverty. It will save lives. It will transform futures. It will unleash the incredible potential of girls and their communities.