Investing in girls has a profound effect on societies. Educating girls and helping them delay marriage and pregnancy until they are ready, results in fewer and healthier babies, a higher quality of life for themselves and their families, and significantly impacts future generations. A program called The Girl Effect is promoting this information through powerful and inspiring messages like those in the video below.
The solution may not be as easy as the video makes it seem, but it is a fact that young women and girls can be agents of change in their communities wherever they live – whether it’s a remote village in the mountains of Peru or the concrete jungle of New York City.
Some of the interesting facts that this program highlights:
- 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%. An extra year of secondary school by 15 to 25%. (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% of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40% for a man. (Chris Fortson, “Women’s Rights Vital for Developing World,” Yale News Daily 2003.)
Educating young girls and helping them delay marriage and families until they are ready, is critical if we want them to change themselves, their families, their communities, and their nations. To find out more about how to support this cause visit The Girl Effect website where you can find information on how to donate, more facts, and guides for how individuals and international reproductive health programs can support this initiative.
Posted in: Womens Health