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Educating girls, educating our future.

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Katarina, online English teacher at Acadsoc

Katarina, Online English teacher at Acadsoc.

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When it comes to the debate of education some we can reach a consensus that it helps us build opinions and have points of view on things in life. People debate over the subject of whether education is the only thing that gives knowledge. Some say education is the process of gaining information about the surrounding world while knowledge is something very different. They are right.[1]

The role of education in society is something that we cannot quantify – and rightfully so. The importance of educating young girls the key making our communities better – way better. There is a common saying that goes “the kids are the future” and “women are the backbones of society” – that is why more teachers at foundation levels are women. Now imagine a scenario where women were occupying positions at every key level of society, we could find ourselves in a better position economically, socially and environmentally.

The time has come for the world to acknowledge the vital role that women play, not only in the household but in the workplace. More women are taking up executive positions and performing extremely well in them. To determine the future, we need to look at how far we have come in the history of educating women.

The Positives

Prevention of Child Marriage and Early Pregnancy

When it comes to the ‘traditional’ way of thinking, women were seen to be not much more than child bearers and wives. The way in which the world is moving now clearly shows the need for independence, not only economically, but in terms of thinking as well. Thus, giving an adequate answer to control in population and providing children with better lives, away from poverty and the dependence on one stream of income.

Building More Stable Communities or Societies

When everyone in society is educated, there is a greater pool of resources and ideas that bring answers to all the questions that face the community. Having educated women always brings positives because of the nurturing aspect that woman have due to maternal instinct. As an example, a female-owned construction company developing a housing estate may focus more on safety for children in the overall construction, but most male-owned construction companies would focus more on aesthetics. None of them is wrong, but we can all agree that safety is more important than looks.

Better Health and Mortality Rate

We all have the wish to live as long as possible, and the key to that is better health. Many solutions are hidden in the minds of people with no access to resources, most of them female. One such example is an invention by two schoolgirls in Africa who came up with the solution to water saving and climate change. They devised a system that turns urine into energy. Without the access to education, it would be virtually impossible for them to come up with such a revolutionary idea.

The Numbers

Educating girls, educating our future.Women continue to participate in labour markets on an unequal basis with men. In 2013, the male employment-to-population ratio stood at 72.2 percent, while the ratio for females was 47.1 percent.[1]

It is calculated that women could increase their income globally by up to 76 percent if the employment participation gap and the wage gap between women and men were closed. This is calculated to have a global value of USD 17 trillion.[2]

Women bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work. Women devote 1 to 3 hours more a day to housework than men; 2 to 10 times the amount of time a day to care (for children, elderly, and the sick), and 1 to 4 hours less a day to market activities.[3] In the European Union, for example, 25 percent of women report care and other family and personal responsibilities as the reason for not being in the labour force, versus only three percent of men.[4]

When more women work, economies grow. An increase in female labour force participation—or a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labour force participation—results in faster economic growth[5]

With the world’s continued effort to involve women in the economy, it cannot happen fast enough. We cannot keep applauding the fact that women are participating more in the economy, when their monetary value is considered less compared to that of a man, doing the same job, the same way, for the same amount of time. But as the world continues to argue and debate on those issues, the key factor is the continued efforts to educate young girls so that they are able to pick up where their predecessors left off, when the time comes. With the efforts of organizations such as UNICEF and UNESCO building more on their efforts to educate young girls in Africa, Asia and South America, the future looks bright. We all need to play our part in providing access, resources and advice where need be. The education of women has created leaders who have left their mark (not always a positive one in certain instances) in the world – Michell Obama, Yingluck Shinawatra, Julia Gillard, Oprah, and many more, are using the platforms that education has provided them with to continue to inspire young girls all around the world.

[1] http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/—publ/documents/publication/wcms_233953.pdf

[2] http://www.actionaid.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/womens_rights_on-line_version_2.1.pdf

[3] World Bank, World Development Report 2012. p. 80.

[4] EuroStat. 2014 (as retrieved from UN Women, Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016. Chapter 2, p. 84.)

[5] http://www.oecd.org/employment/50423364.pdf

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