Thursday, 5 September 2013

Why educate a girl?


The positive outcomes of educating a girl extends far beyond the four walls of a classroom. As the commonly used, profound phrase goes, ‘Educate a boy, and you educate one person. Educate a girl, and you educate a family.’ By sending a girl to school, she is far more likely to ensure that her children also receive an education.  Living in a country that’s famous for child marriages, female foeticides and infanticides, and abuse of women, it is a not-so-gentle reminder that for a future generation that’s not just literate but educated, we need to give prominent access of education to the girl child.

There may be various economic, social, and political reasons, for a girl to be kept away from classrooms, but when you look at the other side, the benefits definitely outweigh everything else. How does a country profit from educating its girls/ women? Well, for one, educated women are able to be actively involved in upliftment of the family as a whole, take active part in family planning, and are able to check on the family’s hygiene and standard of living. 

Educated women are less likely to contract HIV & AIDS, and thus, less likely to pass it onto their children. They are aware of timely vaccination and proper health practices. This lowers maternal and child mortality rates. Also, working women are more likely to invest in their family’s betterment – at least 80% of their incomes are spent towards family expenses and investment.

Decision-making regarding family matters, children’s education, economic situations can be done effectively if you have educated women in the household. Just because girls get married and go off to another home is no reason to deny them their basic right to literacy. In fact, poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment, three rampant reasons for the degeneration of today’s youth can be eliminated by ensuring proper education to the girls of our country.

It’s not the government’s or educational institution’s duty alone to educate the girl child, it is up to each one of us, citizens of India, to make sure that the girls in our families have access to schools and colleges.

“Give me good mothers and I will give you a great nation.” – Napoleon Bonaparte. Yes, if you want to accelerate the development of a nation, educate the girl child, first.  

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