Besides the purely educational benefits of more girls in school, quality of life also improves for the girl and the girls’ future family members. “With girls and women more likely to be poorer and less educated than men, they are more likely to be financially and socially dependent on men. This power imbalance reduces young women’s choices” (UNICEF). These choices include the inability to have protected sex, to use birth control, to choose whom to marry, as well as many other life or death questions. To be merely a bystander of this power imbalance is to enable the perpetrators not the victims. “The toll on human lives is a toll on development—since improving the quality of people’s lives is development’s ultimate goal” (King, 2001, pg. 74). When women have accessed education and are empowered to make decisions, their physical and mental health as well as their children’s health and education attainment improves. Girls education is a win/win in the long run for all involved.
Investing in a girl’s education is not only ethically a good choice because it is one of many right things to do, but financially it is a good choice because the education of that girl trickles down to the next generation and future generations. Her education empowers her and improves her children’s quality of life. The key to investment, however, is not throwing money into a pot labeled “Girls Education.” The barriers of access for the girl, safety of the girl, and empowering of women must be overcome. Personal scholarship programs allow each girl a voice in overcoming her current barriers and gaining access through merit to the benefits of education. To get involved in 4 the World’s Girls Scholarship Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
King, E.M. (2001). Engendering Development. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
UNICEF. (n/d) Girls, HIV/AIDS and Education.