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This Matters So Deeply: Educating Girls Leads To Real Change

October 4, 2011

I am taking a little detour from the 31 Days to a More Welcoming Entry Challenge to write about something incredibly important: I am participating in the Girl Effect Campaign, which aims to raise awareness of The Girl Effect through bloggers across the globe.

Last week, I received World Vision’s gift guide which makes it easy to give a donation during the holiday time toward a cause that that matters to you. There are dozens of ways in the gift guide of giving, and I came across this:

Why educate a girl?

  • Half of all girls in developing countries don’t finish primary school.
  • Over 80 million girls are forced into early marriage.
  • Educate a girl and empower her so she has the freedom to make better choices, postpone early marriage, have healthier children and transform her community.

If you have a moment, please watch this video about Anita, an incredible girl who was determined to get an education and went on a hunger strike to convince her parents to let her go to school rather than be forced to marry young. She took a beekeeping class and now runs her own business, making enough money to fix up her family’s house and pay their medical bills. As a result of her courage and persistence, other girls in her village followed her example.

This video challenges us to not look at a girl who lives in poverty as a problem to be solved, but as a solution to a problem, as an investment that will pay the dividends of healthier families, villages and societies.

Some of the sobering statistics mentioned in this video:

  • A girl with 7 years of education marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children. The population’s HIV rate goes down and malnutrition decreases by 43%.
  • If 10% more girls go to secondary school, the country’s economy grows 3%. When en educated girl earns income, she reinvests 10% of it in her family, compared to 35% for a boy.
  • Yet 99.4% of international aid money doesn’t go to her.

From when I was little, I have struggled with the problem of inequality in this world. I wondered as a little girl why I had so much, why I never had to go hungry, why I had so many opportunities while so many people in the world don’t. Growing up, I had to realize it didn’t do me or anyone else any good to worry about these things, because a simple fact is that the weight of the world is not on my shoulders and I cannot single-handedly change the world. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t be concerned for others, learn about ways to improve life for others and take action where I can.

When I learned about the Girl Effect, I was struck by the statistics, but also the simplicity of the idea behind it: Educate a girl and change not just one life, but the lives of those around her.

Find other posts on The Girl Effect HERE.

Feel inspired to write your own thoughts on this?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. racheldangerw permalink
    October 4, 2011 12:44 am

    thank you for sharing…i will write and post something about these videos, too. incredible message.

    • October 4, 2011 6:36 pm

      Yes, it’s such an important message! So happy you’re also writing about it!

  2. October 4, 2011 8:41 am

    i am tweeting this link. BRAVO!

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