The Girl Effect

 “Change can come not only from a bomb but also from a girl with a schoolbook studying under a tree or in a mosque.” – Nicholas Kristof

DSCN0615Here at Eco-pads we are strong believers in the power of a girls’ education. When a girl receives an education not only does she have a better chance of a healthy and happy life, but society as a whole also improves drastically. The education of girls is not a privilege, but a basic human right. There are currently 250 million adolescent girls living in poverty. These girls are our most underutilized resource and the most powerful force for change on the planet. Research has shown time and time again that the education of girls can help solve many of the persisting development problems that now face the world.

An educated woman has the skills, information and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker and citizen. An educated woman is likely to marry at a later age and have fewer children. And the children of an educated mother are more likely to survive. Better lives for girls mean better lives for everyone in their communities – their brothers, fathers, future husbands and sons. In rural Uganda, 85 per cent of girls leave school early, resulting in $10billion in lost potential earnings. When you improve a girl’s life through education, health, safety and opportunity, these changes have a positive ripple effect. As an educated mother, an active, productive citizen and a prepared employee, she is the most influential force in her community to break the cycle of poverty.

Benefits of educating girls include:

  • Reducing the number of babies women have;
  • Lowering infant and child mortality rates;
  • Lower maternal mortality rates;
  • Protecting against HIV/AIDS infection;
  • Increased number of women with jobs and higher earnings and;
  • Benefits that last many generations- including better health for her children,

It has also been shown that an educated girl will reinvest 90 per cent of her future income in her family, compared with 35 per cent for a boy. Yet, today, less than two cents of every international development dollar goes to girls – the very people who could do the most to end poverty. As long as girls remain invisible, the world misses out on a tremendous opportunity for change.