Why Is There a Fight for Girls’ Education?
Globally, millions of girls do not regularly attend classes or complete school, which deprives these girls of opportunities to learn, grow and build hope for their futures. UNICEF estimates that 129 million school age girls worldwide are not in school.1 These girls often leave school to work and help their families, and they often marry early. Girls who do not attend school can be victims of child marriage and child labor, and they will not qualify for well-paying jobs as adults. There are many barriers to girls worldwide obtaining an education, so we must fight for girls’ education to give girls hope and opportunity.
Here are some of the barriers to girls’ education:
- Lack of supplies — Girls from impoverished families often can’t afford crucial school supplies such as uniforms, books and pencils. In areas without free school tuition, families experiencing poverty may not have the funds to pay their daughter’s school tuition.
- Lack of support — Many families and societies do not value sending girls to school. Many girls are undereducated because society limits them to motherhood and homemaking. Some girls are removed from school prematurely to work, care for siblings or help at home; others are treated poorly at school.
- Lack of safety — Many girls are victims of gender-based violence such as infanticide, genital mutilation and assault. Girls experiencing abuse or violence are less likely to attend school. Other girls may not feel safe attending school because of bias and discrimination against them from their peers or teachers.
Education promotes learning, growth and job opportunities for girls. According to the World Bank,
“Both individuals and countries benefit from girls’ education. Better educated women tend to be more informed about nutrition and healthcare, have fewer children, marry at a later age, and their children are usually healthier, should they choose to become mothers. They are more likely to participate in the formal labor market and earn higher incomes.”2
Educated girls contribute positively to their personal lives, the lives of their families and the lives of their communities.
1 “Girl’s Education.” UNICEF. Accessed 13 February 2022. https://www.unicef.org/education/girls-education.
2 “Girls’ Education Overview.” The World Bank. Accessed 13 February 2022. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/girlseducation#1.