As It Stands

It is the year 2015, and around the world there are approximately 31 million girls out of school. 

As it stands, there are 31 million girls who do not have access to primary education or are denied access simply because of their gender, as stated by UNICEF. According to the 2010 Census, there are 74.2 million children under the age of 18 in the United States.  Let’s imagine that half of the population are girls. If this statistic were applied to the United States, it would mean only 16 percent of girls in the United States would be granted access to an education!  These numbers are unfathomable. We need to work tireless so as to ensure 100 percent of girls worldwide are not only allowed to get an education, but also are born with this basic right.

When girls are not granted an education, they are more likely to be subject to poverty, marry earlier and against their will, and die in childbirth due to young age.  In many developing countries, the cultural norm in households with limited resources is to favor boys’ education.  Girls have household obligations that they need to complete as their duty to their family, including but not limited to chores, taking care of children, and also being subjected to child labor and marriage.  Even from a structural level, many of the schools lack clean and private bathrooms, posing health problems to these girls. In addition, many of the schools lack female teachers that can serve as role models.   

As UNICEF states, “Girls education is both an intrinsic right and a critical lever to reaching other development objectives.”  When girls are educated, they acquire skills that lead to an increased earning power.  It’s not just a social issue; it’s an economic one.  When women bring money into the household, they increase the well being of the family as a whole.  When girls are granted access to education, it serves as a trickle-down effect and influences education for the future generations.  Girls having access changes the entire structure of a family for the better.

We need females to be valued the same as males. We need education to be a right for every child worldwide. It would make a world of difference.

— By Morgan Douglas