This year marks the UN’s first-ever International Day of the Girl Child, which will be commemorated on the eleventh of October. The day was created by the United Nations General Assembly to help promote opportunities and equal access for girls everywhere. In addition, the UN created it to increase public awareness in different areas such as health care, education, and freedom from domestic violence.
Helping young girls around the world will create better communities and brighter possibilities for future generations. Not surprisingly, education level and success in motherhood are very closely tied. Women who are highly educated will be able to make better-informed decisions for their child and will more likely have only a few children. One writer describes, “when a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.”
With education comes specialized jobs and higher income. Research shows that women typically use 90% of their income to invest in their families, which is strikingly different from the 30% to 40% of income that men decide to invest for their families. Of course, these numbers are not uniform across the board and there will be variations. However, they may suggest something that will be helpful to development practitioners around the world.
Giving girls a fair chance will help entire communities, and it’s time to make it happen.
Creative Commons Love: Joel Dousset on Flickr.comWritten by Jana Melpolder