Girls in Developing Countries

Education Is Key for Girls in Developing Countries

A country’s history, culture and social stratification all contribute to the access girls have to education in their country. Girls in developing countries have the least access to education than other places in the world and face more obstacles in receiving and maintaining educational opportunities. Great strides have been made, but more must be done to ensure they are given the chance to learn and grow. This is why we should support girls’ education in those places.

Commit2Change reports that there are 130 million girls worldwide who are not in school for various reasons, which include poverty, gender discrimination, early marriage and war.1 Depending on the country, some of these reasons are deeply entrenched in cultures and face more resistance to change.

Commit2Change reports of girls in developing countries,

“The economic costs to excluding girls and women are nothing short of stunning. When we educate girls, we change their lives, protect their health, and help them lift entire families out of poverty… If educated, girls could contribute up to $30 trillion into the global economy…. Opportunities transform not only lives but entire communities. World change starts with educated girls—in fact, girls’ education is the foundation of inclusive and sustainable growth.”2

Girls’ education, in South Asia, for example, has long been considered optional at best. Girl Rising, a girls’ education charity, notes,

“Despite the gains that South Asia has made over the past 20 years, it remains a country with extreme gender inequality. It is one of the most challenging countries to be a girl or woman, ranking 127 out of 160 on UNDP’s gender inequality index.”3

This gender discrimination is pervasive in South Asia countries.

In a 2013 article for CNN, Sumnima Udas describes the kind of discrimination that happens even at birth for girls in developing countries, talking of an South Asian woman’s experience:

“Sumanjeet says people kept telling her to get an ultrasound check and abort all four of her daughters. They told her she wouldn’t have enough money for suitable dowries. Although Sumanjeet wasn’t quite sure how she was going to raise them, she knew it was a crime to get rid of them.”4

These kinds of antiquated ideas lead to outlawed female abortion practices, as well as the deep discrimination women face throughout their lives, including violence like rape and abuse. The odds are stacked against women in places like South Asia.

Dayita5 knows this well. Illiterate herself, she could not get a skilled job in order to fully meet the needs of her family. Her husband was bed ridden from his addiction to alcohol and could not work. Her only means of income was hauling firewood. This meant leaving her children alone each day in the care of her oldest child, Kansi. Dayita never dreamed of sending her daughter to school. There wasn’t even enough money for regular meals. She feared for herself and her children.

One day, GFA workers were visiting families in Dayita’s area. They learned about her family’s situation and offered for Kansi to join them in the afternoons after she took care of her siblings in the morning. Dayita was relieved to have this help for one of her children.

Kansi started attending every day, where she received nutritious food and school supplies. Dayita noticed she developed an excitement for learning and was very well mannered and respectful. The GFA workers also held parent meetings for learning opportunities. All of their support has made a dramatic impact for Dayita and her family. Her daughter receiving an education will help release them from poverty.

Supporting these services for children like Kansi is easy through GFA’s Child Sponsorship Program. A gift of $35 a month provides the support and security parents like Dayita need for their children. Through the program, children and their families receive things like nutritious food, medical attention, clean water, some household supplies and all-important tutoring assistance.

Be a part of this important work on behalf of women and children by sponsoring a child today.

Learn more about child marriage

1 “Why Girls’ Education?” Commit2Change. Accessed March 11, 2022.
2 “Why Girls’ Education?” Commit2Change. Accessed March 11, 2022.
3 “Girl Rising’s Work in India.” Girl Rising. Accessed March 11, 2022.
4 Udas, Sumnima. “Challenges of being a woman in India.” CNN, January 12, 2013,
5 “Gospel for Asia Provides an Education They Never Dreamed of.” 9 October 2020.