“If only I can get educated, I will surely be the president.”
- A teenage girl in rural Malawi
“There is no more valuable investment than in a girls’ education.”
- Ban Ki Moon, secretary-general, United Nations
Yesterday many of us sent our children back to school. (Was it just me or could you hear the collective sigh of relief from coast to coast to coast?) In some parts of the world, too many girls stayed home because school was not an option.
According to a Global Economy and Development Paper distributed by the U.N.,
"Educating a girl is one of the best investments her family, community, and country can make. We know that a good quality education can be life-changing for girls, boys, young women, and men, helping them develop to their full potential and putting them on a path for success in their life. We also know that educating a girl in particular can kick-start a virtuous circle of development. More educated girls, for example, marry later, have healthier children, earn more money that they invest back into their families and communities, and play more active roles in leading their communities and countries." Read the full paper HERE. (Highly recommended, particularly if you are a research nerd.)
While there have been great strides made in recent decades to increase access to education for girls, there continues to be "hot spots" where the significant hurdles remain.
What we can we do? Here are two ideas:
1. Value Education
In my travels I am always struck by how deeply valued education is around the world. When it is costly, girls and women make huge sacrifices in order to access it. By contrast, we take it for granted...treating it as a given (because it kind of is) and by not always putting our best work forward. I think we have so much to learn from our global sisters. Make education a priority in your life and in the lives of your daughters. Encourage the women around you to take advantage of the incredible opportunities to learn and grow. Be their greatest cheerleaders as they stretch themselves in learning. Education can open doors that are spectacular!
2. Invest in the Education of Global Women
Through ZOE Scholarships you can invest in the education of women TODAY! We provide partial scholarships to high capacity women who are proven change agents in their communities.