Every child has the right to education. Having the opportunity to learn is a very important part of everyone’s life. Through education, children are able to realise their potential, become more active members of society, and make the most of the opportunities they have. When girls are discriminated against in this way, they are denied the chance to thrive.
WHY ARE GIRLS STOPPED FROM ATTENDING SCHOOL?
Although all girls have the right to an education, when girls marry young or become pregnant, they are often stopped from attending school. In Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, and Tanzania, the government and school officials deny pregnant girls the right to attend school. Elsewhere in Africa, governments are not doing enough to ensure that teenage mothers continue their education after pregnancy. Without school, they are prevented from learning. Becoming a housewife at such a young age limits them for life as they are denied the crucial years of development which take place at school.
WHAT BARRIERS ARE THERE TO GIRLS RETURNING TO EDUCATION?
Many school-age mothers do not go back to school because the national re-entry policies are not well-implemented. Furthermore, they are often stigmatized for returning to education and many feel isolated from society. This is because they have little to no support from their family or school.
HOW CAN EDUCATING GIRLS HELP THE FAMILY?
At school, girls can learn about healthcare and how best to prevent illness, which helps to keep everyone in the family healthier. Educating women gives them the opportunity to become what is more complicated, higher paid jobs. If women perform skilled work, they can earn more money, which means that the family as a whole is better off.
HOW CAN EDUCATED GIRLS HELP THE COUNTRY?
When women perform skilled work, such as jobs in the rapidly developing technology industry, there is faster progress in that industry. This is because there are more people able to perform the jobs, which allows for the best people to do each task. There is, also, a lack of skilled labour in developing countries, and educating girls helps to change this. When the best people do each task, the industry moves faster and the economy can grow, which has a positive impact on everyone.
WHAT CAN EDUCATED GIRLS ACHIEVE?
Educated girls can achieve anything. For example, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was the president of Liberia until earlier this year, and Farida Bedwei, a Ghanaian, is a software engineer. These remarkable achievements are a product of their education. They have made huge contributions to society which they would not have made had they been refused an education, and everyone’s lives are better because of women like them.