How Educating Girls Can Save Lives and Reduce Poverty

  • Educating girls saves children’s lives: Each extra year of a mother’s schooling reduces the probability of infant mortality by 5% to 10% (UNICEF 2011). In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 1.8 million children’s lives could have been saved in 2008 if their mothers had at least a secondary education (UNICEF 2011).
  • Educating girls raises lifetime incomes for them, their families and their countries.(Herz & Sperling 2004). Girls who have one more year of education than the national average earn 10 to 20 percent more, on average – even more than the increase for boys.  In particular, girls with secondary education have an 18% return in future wages, as compared to 14% for boys. (Levine et al 2009)
  • Educating girls lowers HIV/AIDS rates: Women with postprimary education are five times more likely than illiterate women to be educated on the topic of HIV and AIDS(Vandermoortele & Delamonica 2000).
  • Educating girls reduces violence: Educated women are more likely to resist abuses such as domestic violence, traditions like female genital cutting, and discrimination at home, in society or the workplace. (Women Deliver)
  • Educating girls educates the whole family: an educated mother is more likely to send her children to school. (UNICEF). An educated mother's greater influence in household negotiations may allow her to secure more resources for her children. (UNFPA)
  • Educating girls improves maternal health: Educating girls for six years or more drastically and consistently improves their prenatal care, postnatal care and childbirth survival rates. (UNICEF). Every year of education delays a girl's marriage and reduces the number of children she has. (UNICEF 2007)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 01:00