Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.
George Washington Carver
Can you imagine being 11 years old and married? I married at the age of 25 and honestly looking back I know that was not old enough to handle the responsibility. An 11 year old girl…. really? Think it does not happen in this day and age? Think that I am exaggerating and this can NOT possibly be true?
Watch, learn and be moved.
Child marriage is the manifestation of a girl’s powerlessness. No girl under 18, but especially as young as 11 should be allowed to marry. Girls need national laws that will prevent child marriage and viable alternatives. I know the most powerful alternative to powerlessness for young girls.
So here is what we KNOW to be true- When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children. Education is the route to power. An educated girl is more likely to earn greater income, raise a smaller family, have healthier children, participate in political processes, and send her own children to school. An educated girl also is less likely to become infected with HIV.Investing in girls makes economic sense. When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man. When you teach a woman to fish, even a young woman ,everybody eats.
There are millions of young girls all around the world just like Addis that cannot attend school and its heartbreaking when you think of all of that untapped energy and potential. A conservative estimate shows 75 million children who should be in primary school are not, and at least 55 percent of those – nearly 41 million children – are girls.
41 million girls who should be in school are not.
There are many reasons why girls do not attend school:
- Families in developing countries often rely on their daughters to be caregivers, homemakers and laborers. When an 8 year old is needed to bring in income then her learning to read becomes a luxury.
- Girls may not be safe or secure at school, and families fear for their welfare.
- Poor families struggle to prioritize their meager resources to pay for books, uniforms, supplies and school fees.
- Civil conflicts, natural disasters and chronic diseases like HIV & AIDS force families to shift their focus from learning to more urgent, basic needs like food and shelter.
- Young mothers stay home and care for their children instead of going to school.
Source: Center for Global Development
This is not a whim, something that happens by chance. Girls around the world face a systematic denial of their right to education. In addition to the loss of opportunity for each individual child, denying education to girls corresponds to lower family incomes, higher maternal and child mortality. Girls truly have the power to change the world, and girls’ education provides perhaps the single highest return on investment in the developing world.
Girls are strong and powerful.
I am not the only one who believes in the power of girls. This post is one of many happening today in honor of the bold and beautiful spirit which is birthed in every girl on earth. Go here to learn more about the campaign and read other post. http://wiselivingblog.com/the-girl-effect-blogging-campaign
Start with a girl and transform a community.