Why do only 17% of teenage girls in Sub-Saharan Africa go to school? What would you do if you had to walk 90 minutes barefoot to get to school? What would you do if the toilets were not secure enough and you were afraid of sexual violence? What would you do if there was no free education and your family could not afford the fees? Would you go to school? Would your parents allow you to go? These reasons and many more are why millions of teenage girls around the world are missing out on an education.
Yet educating girls is the route out of poverty.
One extra year of secondary school increase girl’s future income by 10-20%. Girls who go to secondary school in Kenya earn $2,000 more a year than girls who just attend primary school. Multiply that by 1.6 million out-of school girls and that’s a potential $3.2 billion increase in national income.
Investing in girls’ education means investing in a whole country. Women reinvest 90% of their earnings back into their families (men only 30-40%). That means healthier and better educated children. Educated women also have smaller families so more wealth goes further.
Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for International Development, has promised more money for educating children in developing countries. Good effort Douglas. We want to make sure that he spends some of that money on making sure that girls are able to go to school. YOU can help. Read and send him his school report – tell him he must do better to make sure that ALL children can have a good quality, relevant education.