The data is in: educating girls is one of the most powerful solutions to tackling climate change and creating a sustainable, safe and prosperous future for all.
Project Drawdown ranks educating girls as the sixth most powerful solution, and when combined with family planning and women's economic empowerment — investing in women and girls becomes the number one solution.
Why? Because an educated girl has a better understanding of her own sexual and reproductive health, and she will be more politically, socially and economically empowered. When she is educated, she is more likely to make sustainable decisions on behalf of her family, and if she chooses to have them, she will have fewer and healthier children. Pretty awesome by-products of going to school, right?
“Educating girls is one of the most effective but overlooked ways to mitigate against climate change"
– Brookings Institution
Educated women have smaller, healthier families
10 billion. That’s roughly how many people the United Nations predict will be on this planet by 2050 (for reference, we’re currently sitting at about 7.7 billion). What we eat, where we live, what we buy and how much waste we produce has a direct impact on the climate, because more people = more emissions and less food to go around.
Which is where education comes in. Educated women give birth to fewer children, which means there will be less competition for natural resources in our collective future.
Educated women have healthier families – they make more informed, sustainable choices for themselves and their children. A baby born to an educated woman is 50% more likely to survive past 5 years. Better choices around healthcare lead to stronger systems and healthier communities.
Research has shown that secondary education can reduce fertility rates by up to a third, with incredibly significant reductions in child marriage. Because when girls are in school, they offer economic opportunity for their families and bigger and brighter futures. If they're not in school, child marriage is often seen as the most viable option for poverty-stricken families.
So when educated, women tend to get married much later in life, and are more likely to have fewer children.
Globally, there are 132 million
girls out of school.
Educating these girls
can change the world.
Women are the stewards of natural resources
Women, and children who are born to an educated mother, can play a key role in preparing for and working to prevent climate disasters. This is because educated women are more able to think critically, lead and make decisions that will benefit everyone.
Women have historically been the managers of their households, and in many parts of the world, they are often in charge of agricultural needs, such as farming and collecting water. Due to this responsibility, women play an important role in understanding and reacting to changes in the natural environment.
When a woman is educated, she is proven to be incredibly effective in promoting sustainable conservation and protection methods. Women are already leading the way in areas such climate-smart farming – so let's help more women get involved!
Support for One Girl is support for the planet
At One Girl, we live by the most excellent motto: when you educate a girl, everything changes. And we really believe that. We don’t just send girls to school because we want them to have a good life. (We do want that, of course.) But it’s about so much more.
When a girl is educated, she will earn more money and she will invest it back into her family and community. In particular, she will invest in the education of even more girls. We’ve seen this firsthand through our program LaunchPad, where the women invested 85% of their income back into their children’s education.
So we know that by teaching girls things like sexual and reproductive health, menstrual hygiene, sustainable food production, financial literacy and other life skills, she will pass that knowledge on. More people will be making better and more sustainable choices. There will be fewer people competing for food and land. The potential for women to lead the way in climate adaption and voluntary population control is truly incredible.