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Writing Project - Girls' Education
Transcript of Writing Project - Girls' Education
in Developing Countries By Amy Frost-Wicks "Invest in a and she will do the rest." - Because I am a Girl The Facts The Problem Education is a basic human right, but in many third world countries, girls are denied it. When girls are not educated, they are more likely to: Marry as young as 13
Have babies when they are still children themselves
Have higher infant, child, and maternal mortality rates
Have trouble reading and understanding health information
Become victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation
Become child soldiers
Face racism, discrimination, and violence "There are 66 million girls out of school worldwide who are denied their right to schooling through poverty, discrimination, practices like child marriage or violence. It is denial of a fundamental right and huge waste of potential." (plan-international.org) Girls living in African and Asian countries are faced with many obstacles when they try to receive an education. Some of the biggest factors that prevent girls from getting an education include: Early and/or forced marriage
Teen pregnancy (due to early marriage)
Being made to work in a job or at home
Governments being resistant to change
Poor health and nutrition
Inequality, sexism or violence at school
Lack of teachers or schools
No girls' washrooms
Parents being reluctant to send their daughter to school How do these factors impact a girl's ability to attend school? 1. Early / Forced Marriage & Teen Pregnancy Daughters traditionally 'marry out' of their families in exchange for animals or money
The girls can be as young as 13 and the men can be older than 70
The girls are forced to do anything their husbands tell them, and are never allowed to refuse sexual relations
Once these girls are married, they are forced to give up their education 2. Made to Work at a Job / Home Girls and women traditionally do more chores at home than boys and men. They don't go to school because they are forced to stay at home and work
In extremely poor families, girls contribute to their family's income by working, although their jobs often don't pay well, are dirty, and sometimes dangerous 3. Their Governments / Countries are Resistant to Change Some countries are resistant to the idea of educating their women and girls because they fear that their traditional values and culture will be lost
Some war-ridden countries like Afghanistan and Somalia don't currently do anything to help girls receive an education 4. Inequality / Sexism at School Some of the current curriculum being taught in schools encourages gender stereotypes: traditionally, women are portrayed as passive, while men are given the roles of brave, strong heroes
Boys are usually given more opportunities to talk and ask questions in the classroom 5. Lack of Teachers or Schools Currently, some organizations are working on providing enough teachers to reduce class sizes to 40 students
It can take over an hour for some girls to walk to school. This is hard on her family, so girls usually just stay at home where they can help with chores 6. Poverty There are 24 million girls in sub-Saharan Africa alone who can't afford to go to school
One of the biggest obstacles for families sending their girls to school is the cost of books, uniforms, transportation and supplies 7. No Girls' Washrooms Girls need private toilets in school. If there are no proper toilets, girls usually miss school during their periods. Some simply drop out because of the shame and embarrassment. 8. Parents Being Reluctant School is very expensive, especially from the perspective of a family living in a developing country. Tuition can be anywhere between 5 and 30 percent of their household income
Parents are sometimes doubtful of the benefits of educating their daughters because of the high costs. It also means the girls won't be at home to work or take care of the family Statistics When a girl living in a developing country becomes pregnant, she has a one in 22 chance of dying during childbirth. One in six of her children will die before age five. (Camfed.org) There are over 32 million kids living in sub-Saharan Africa who can't afford school. 24 million (75%) of them are girls. (Childrensportal.org) In Yemen, over 80% of girls will never get to go to school. "150 million children currently enrolled in school will drop out before completing primary school - at least 100 million are girls." (CFR.org) Right now, there are about 77 million out-of-school children worldwide. Two-thirds of them are girls. (Care.org) Over 10,000 girls under the age of 15 are married each day.
(Worlded.org) Because they aren't educated, one in three women in third world countries live on less than $2 a day. (Worlded.org) Benefits of Educating Girls "Girls' education then, isn't just a matter of improving earnings potential in the long term - its power extends to matters of life and death."
(HKS.Harvard.edu) The World Bank states that a woman's income rises by 10 to 20 percent for each year of school they attend. "If women farmers in Kenya had the same education and inputs as men farmers, crop yields could rise by 22%."
(CFR.org) Currently, there are 793 million illiterate people in the world; two-thirds are female. If girls are educated now, they have the potential of ending the cycle of illiteracy in just one generation. When a woman is educated, she is more likely to send her children to school.
(Roomtoread.org) When a girl is educated: She will earn more money
She will feel empowered
She will face less discrimination and violence
She will gain the respect of others and will take on more leadership roles
She will be able to get married when she chooses
She is more likely to be healthy and survive into adulthood
She is more likely to reinvest money back into her family, community and country
She will understand her rights
She will become a force for change, and a role model for other girls Survey Results A lot of progress has been made toward giving girls in developing countries an education, but there is still a lot to be done. Malala Yousafzai Malala is a 15 year old girl from Pakistan. She actively defends and promotes girls' right to education in her country, and even has a blog about life under Taliban rule. "The terrorists showed what frightens them most: a girl with a book."
- UN President Ban Ki-moon "Five more schools have been destroyed, one of them was near my house. I am quite surprised because these schools were closed so why did they also need to be destroyed?" -From Malala's blog On October 9, 2012, Malala was shot in the head and neck while on a school bus. This was an assassination attempt by the Taliban for promoting womens' and girls' right to education. Luckily, she survived the attack and is now in stable condition. Malala's story has caused global outrage and has raised awareness of the situation for many girls like her. Support for Malala has come from all over the world. "There are no immovable barriers to gender equality and education for all. Her dream is ours. We are all Malala." - Unesco.org Solutions There are many organizations and foundations that focus on educating girls, including Plan's Because I am a Girl, Camfed, Unesco, Unicef, Care, and Room to Read. They have all made a huge impact in the lives of children around the world by providing solutions to important problems. Camfed Camfed's programs are all planned, managed, and looked after by the African communities themselves. They select the children who are most in need and give them financial support from elementary school right through to high school.
With the help of Camfed's "innovative education programs", more than 1,941,000 children in the poorest areas of Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe have been able to go to school. Care Care focuses on improving the quality of learning in schools, removing barriers that prevent girls from getting an education, engaging communities, and advocating for government investment. (Camfed.org) Afghanistan - Care provides accelerated learning programs which allow girls to complete more than one grade per year. This helps girls who are affected by the Taliban's restrictions or war because they are able to catch up on classes until they are at their proper grade level. (Care.org) Kenya - In Kenya, Care offers school sport programs to draw girls into school. Playing sports encourages girls to go to school and participate in activities. Parents are also less reluctant to send their daughters to school, and the girls feel more empowered. (Care.org) What Needs to be Done In an ideal world, this is what would need to be done to achieve gender equality in education in developing countries: Make school more affordable -
Have the government reduce or completely cover the cost of tuition for girls
Cover the cost of books, uniforms, transportation, supplies, etc. Build local schools -
The closer a school is, the more practical it is for girls to attend
Parents will be more involved in their child's education if a school is in their community
Hiring and training more teachers creates jobs Make schools girl-friendly -
Provide private girls' washrooms
Ensure girls' safety and well-being by providing separate schools for girls and boys
Provide female teachers, who can also act as good role models for girls Focus on quality education -
Discourage use of gender stereotypes
Train and provide enough teachers to ensure reasonable class sizes
Improve teachers' education and training
Focus on math and science to give girls the skills that they need for the 21st century
Provide up-to-date books and school supplies
In Peru, providing free textbooks raised girls' enrollment by 30% (CFR.org) What Can We Do to Bring About Change? As a country:
Lobby the governments of each country for change
Create political incentives to encourage other countries to take the necessary steps to improve education for girls
As a community:
Hold a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to a charity or organization that supports educating girls and works in specific countries
Raise awareness in the community
As an individual:
Donate to a charity or organization that currently works in developing countries to provide education for girls
Sponsor a foster child in a developing country
When you sponsor a child, you enable them to purchase uniforms, food, supplies, and tuition Action Plan It's hard for only a few people to to really make an impact when dealing with this issue because of the intricacies and size of the problem. There are however, ways to help and make a difference in the lives of girls around the world. 1. Join or start a group at school
Create a group similar to Free the Children, where money is raised to support a specific organization
Involve the school and community in fundraisers and donate the proceeds to an organization that supports girls' right to education 2. Raise awareness of the problem by word-of-mouth
When other people hear about the issue, they may try to find a way to help as well
As an individual, discuss the problem with your friends, teachers, relatives, or anyone else
Contact certain organizations about opportunities for representatives to come and present in your school or community 3. See what can be done as a family or an individual
Donate money to an organization that supports girls and works in developing countries to improve education
Sponsor a child If nothing is done about this issue, women and girls in developing countries around the world will continue to be oppressed and be without a voice. Not having an education means that they won't have the awareness or knowledge needed to improve their lives and the lives of their family. It will take lots of work to completely change the world and allow everyone to receive an education, but by donating, sponsoring, and raising awareness, you can change someone's life. When a girl is educated, she will become a role model for other girls and will help to improve her community. By doing this, other girls will also have the opportunity to attend school. When girls are educated, they will have a more promising future and will contribute to the development of their nation.