The Girl Effect…Yes, we’ve come a long way toward gender equality in western countries like the United States, but discrimination against girls and women is still very pronounced in many developing countries, and it begins with the unequal treatment of girls. This excellent video sums it up…
The Girl Effect: Lack of Education in Developing Countries
From The Girl Effect website:
- 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.(United Nations Population Fund, State of World Population 1990.)
- An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent. (George Psacharopoulos and Harry Anthony Patrinos, “Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update,” Policy Research Working Paper 2881[Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2002].)
- Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers. (George T. Bicego and J. Ties Boerma, “Maternal Education and Child Survival: A Comparative Study of Survey Data from 17 Countries,” Social Science and Medicine 36 (9) [May 1993]: 1207–27.)
- 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. (Chris Fortson, “Women’s Rights Vital for Developing World,” Yale News Daily 2003.)
- Approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school. (Cynthia B. Lloyd, ed., Growing Up Global: The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries [Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2005].)
- Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls. (Human Rights Watch, “Promises Broken: An Assessment of Children’s Rights on the 10th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” www.hrw.org/campaigns/crp/promises/education.html [December 1999].)
What Have I Done to Help?
I first focused on this when I taught a Politics of Developing Countries course for several years at Butte College near Chico, California in the 1990s. I discussed how the empowerment of women and girls was crucial for improving health, human rights, environmental quality, and living standards. I also examined the same issues when I taught international relations courses at the same institution and at nearby Shasta College.
I’ve also given substantial money to international charities, including the Global Fund for Women.
Here in the United States I’ve made donations to local groups that help battered women get out of abusive situations and rebuild their lives.
What Can You Do to Help?
There are many things you can do. Here’s a partial list:
1. Get more education on the issue by visiting The Girl Effect website.
2. Find out what other bloggers are saying and sharing about The Girl Effect here.
3. Share this blog post and the information on The Girl Effect site on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, forums, and any other site that is appropriate.
4. Find charities doing good work that helps girls in developing countries and make a donation.
What are your thoughts on the importance of educating girls, especially in developing countries? What do you think of The Girl Effect campaign? What are the best ways to help? Tell us below…