There is a direct link, according to The Economist, between educating girls and their future welfare, freedom, health and personal wealth. What is more important is that this leaves a near permanent mark, as their children inherit these gains. As events have evolved in Afghanistan the fear that girls might be banned from school (and certainly a University education) will have a devastating effect on women for generations. As the article explains “Educating girls is also an excellent way to reduce poverty…Women who finish secondary school can expect to earn twice as much as those who never enter a classroom. A degree of financial independence, in turn, gives them more bargaining power in their relationships with fathers, brothers and husbands who might seek to push them around”. An interesting study of eight emerging economies (by Citigroup and Plan International) concluded if all girls finished secondary school this would boost GDP by an average of 10% in ten years. Eventually this would also translate to having more female politicians, which in turn would also improve governance, and this would as female legislators would support more health and education spending, which are of greater priority in growing economies anyway. But despite the reality of the benefits, the pandemic has affected the number of girls who complete their education, currently standing at around 80 for every 100 boys in poor countries. The west should support efforts to ensure that girls do stay in education and help redress some of the recent trends.

#education #educatinggirls