girl child education

How Does Girl Child Education Benefit The Community?

The importance of girl child education in our community (arewa) has been overlooked. When you go outside arewa (northern Nigeria) and express yourself in English, it is bizarre to Southern Nigerians. Why is that?  Simple, the level of illiteracy in our community is broad, especially amongst the female folk. Global Shapers Kano Hub is looking to change that narrative by providing education for all. Through a series of educative events.

Although the importance of girl child education is often neglected, every child has a right to quality education. Irrespective of the circumstance, gender or where they live. We aim to empower our community (irrespective of gender) so that we can reap the benefits.

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Education is the backbone of every society. It includes schools, vocational training, college, technical, and professional and health education. Through education, we can improve our standard of living. The importance of girl child education in our society (Arewa) today is often overlooked. Usually, girls only duty is to maintain the household while boys get sent to school. Boys appear to be superior to girls, so little or no regard is given to their education. 

 The most powerful weapon known to our society is knowledge and education. We can make a valuable and substantial difference in society through education. Advances in the education of girls have caused a positive impact on our society. However,  130 million girls between the ages of 6 and 17 are not in school. (UNESCO)

Girl-child Education

Educating girls today will not only help the present population but future populations as well. According to UNESCO data, if all females in developing countries complete primary education, child mortality would drop. Similarly, maternal deaths would reduce by two-thirds. Educating girls save lives and build stronger families, communities and economies. Schools can provide girls with life skills, reproductive health knowledge and social space to discuss issues.

In our country (Nigeria), including Afghanistan and Pakistan, attacks on girls’ education and threats to close down schools have been seen. Girls are marginalised and are out of school simply because they are girls. Girls are four times more likely to be out of school than boys from the same background. For the poorest girls, even worse, the likelihood of completing primary school is slim.

How does sending your girl child to school benefit us?

Acknowledging the importance of girl child education ensures inclusive and quality schooling for all students. Elevating the level of girls education is vital to improving the lives of girls and people everywhere. Research shows that better female education is associated with lower rates of poverty and improved health. 

Educating girls is an investment that leads to outcomes benefiting society at large. Education offers knowledge and skills aimed at enlightening women and girls in society.  You can bring socio-economic changes to society when you educate a girl. The global shapers community and other NGOs stress the importance of education. As a result, they have projects that promote education and empowerment.

There are several benefits of girl child education in society. We’ll only mention a few.

Economic Growth

It is no news that girls mature at a far younger age than boys. As a result, they can apply their knowledge and skills sooner. Hence, they develop sustainable livelihood and escape poverty at a much earlier stage in life. Education for girls and boys increase productivity and contributes to economic growth. Although women are not in the formal job market as much as men, studies show there are economic benefits if they join.

 Increased level of education has a positive impact on women’s wages. A woman’s wages does not only benefit her but her entire household as well. 

International Labor Organization reports that educating girls has proven to be one of the most important ways of breaking poverty cycles. And this is likely to have significant impacts on access to formal jobs in the longer term. Still don’t see how girl-child education benefits society? Read on;

Health Knowledge

Health knowledge saves children’s lives. Despite NGOs efforts to educate women on the value of immunization, children born to illiterate women still suffer the consequences. However, that wouldn’t be the case with educated women. A child born to a literate mother has the chance to a healthy upbringing.

Educated mothers are well informed about immunisation for their children and sanitation. Similarly, nutrition and general well-being of the infant. And this leads to fewer child death from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, and malaria or malnutrition. An educated woman understands the relevance of maintaining a healthy family.

Health Improvement

Illiterate girls battle with self-hygiene every day. They do not know the importance of maintaining proper hygiene. But through education, they can learn how to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle. And this allows them to prevent health-related diseases such as infection. Women are primary caregivers of children and families at large. How can they practice or offer proper care if they don’t know how? So, they must have knowledge of good hygiene and practice it.

Education allows women to take proper care of their families, reducing the prevalence of people suffering from various diseases.

More Control Over their Lives

More often than not, girls fall victims to sexual abuse, human trafficking and domestic violence. Educated girls are less likely to be subjected to these abuses. Education allows them to be aware of issues surrounding violence and abuse. Hence, they are less likely to become victims. 

According to the World Bank Report released in 2014, women who completed secondary education had a 36% lower risk of domestic abuse and violence in the home. Education builds a woman’s confidence, and a confident woman is much less likely to give in to abusers. She has an increased sense of her worth and capabilities.

Leadership Skills

Education gives women confidence in their ability to lead. Education instils in them leadership skills and politics. As a result, build strong and more informed female leaders who are more likely to be politically involved. Studies prove that educated women are much less willing to support militarism and extremism than educated men. And this results in a more secure and compassionate society for all.

Sustainable Families

Overpopulation is a growing concern. Large families can often directly correlate to a lack of education for women. By educating women, they can make more informed choices. Healthy choices about family planning can help to slow the rapidly growing world population. 

Population growth is a growing concern. Often, large families decide to educate male children rather than all children. When you look at our streets today, you find children (almagiri) and women with no shelter begging to sustain themselves. Due to unwanted teenage pregnancies, child marriages and unsustainable families. Teenagers get pregnant, and women give birth to more children than they can cater for. All of this streams from illiteracy.

Educated girls are well informed about pregnancy-related issues, as well as family sustenance. This knowledge, as a result, reduces unplanned pregnancies and infant mortality rates. They can make more informed choices about their family planning and help slow the rapidly growing world population. Also, it can result in experienced female health care providers who can assist with childbirth and pregnancy-related care. 

An educated woman would neither opt to beg nor sleep on the streets. Educated women are less likely to send their children begging.

Reduced Infection Rates for HIV/AIDS and Malaria

Educating women helps reduce the risk of HIV/AIDs and malaria. Educative campaigns create awareness about HIV/AIDS and how to prevent it. Educated women take necessary measures, such as using bed nets to protect their families. Thus, protecting the wider community.

Honour and Dignity

Educated women become role models and a source of inspiration for others. With education comes respect. Educated women earn respect for themselves wherever they go. Hence, honour and dignity. They build better support and professional networks, improving their future career prospects. Also, they encourage a good education and inspire compassion values in their children. Educated women empower entire generations of families.

Finally, the importance of girls’ education is generational. Girls are the future mothers of any society. Every girl that receives an education is more likely to make education a priority for her children. Men with educated wives can attest to this fact. 

“Educate a boy, and you educate an individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community.” – Adelaide Hoodless

NB. We are by no means saying girls should be educated more than boys. Instead, it is simply a reminder to acknowledge the value educating both genders could yield.

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