$15-30 trillion. That is the global cost of not educating girls. It’s a mind-boggling amount of money lost and all for an issue we know we can fix.
The recent World Bank report Missed Opportunities: The High Cost Of Not Educating Girls emphasises what we already know – that denying girls the chance to go to school not only negatively impacts that girl, but has enormous implications for her family, her community, and her entire nation.
Children born to mothers younger than 18 are at a higher risk of dying by the age of five and being malnourished. Through lower wages in adulthood and higher fertility over their lifetime, a lack of (or lower level of) education for girls leads to more households living in poverty. It also results in higher population growth given the impact on fertility rates.
This new report also highlights that limited educational opportunities for girls and the barriers they face to complete 12 years of education costs countries trillions of dollars in lost lifetime earnings.
“When 130 million girls are unable to become engineers or journalists or CEOs because education is out of their reach, our world misses out on trillions of dollars that could strengthen the global economy, public health and stability …
– Malala Yousafzai, Malala Fund co-founder and Nobel laureate.
As this report explains, having a primary education is on par with having no education at all. While primary schooling lays the foundation for future learning, secondary school is essential to reap the real benefits from further education.
This report puts a spotlight on what we at One Girl are trying to change – the overwhelming barriers that girls face in accessing education are stopping generations of girls from becoming independent and empowered women! From early marriage and pregnancy to household poverty, discriminatory gender norms and practices, lack of safe and inclusive learning environments, and poor school infrastructure, girls are at a global disadvantage and they don’t have to be.
Educating a girl increases her income by 10-25% for every year she stays in school. She’ll get married later and have a smaller, healthier family when she’s ready. The power of education will affect her health, wealth, and the future of her family.
Education holds the power to change the world:
- It is the key to eliminating gender inequality, to reducing poverty, to creating a sustainable planet and tackling preventable deaths and illnesses
- It can fight climate change
- It can make whole families healthier
- Its impact can be felt generation, after generation, after generation
We need to tackle all the pieces of the puzzle to ensure girls have all the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
From scholarships to financial literacy and life skills training; building school toilets and training students in water, sanitation and better hygiene or supporting women and girls with menstrual hygiene knowledge – at One Girl, we’re committed.
The World Bank report says “Overall the message is clear: educating girls is not only the right thing to do. It also makes economic and strategic sense for countries to fulfil their development potential”.
And we couldn’t agree more.
Become part of the One Girl community and together, we can demolish those barriers that so many girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda face and help them become independent and empowered women! Scroll down and subscribe to stay completely up-to-date will all things One Girl!