Girls’ education is one of the most effective ways for ending poverty in developing nations. The benefits of their education are seen by individuals, their families, and throughout society. These benefits include:
Reducing the number of babies women have;
Lowering infant and child mortality rates;
Lower maternal mortality rates;
Protecting against HIV/AIDS infection;
Increased number of women with jobs and higher earnings and;
Benefits that last many generations.
Education for girls also has the benefit of delaying marriage and pregnancy for young girls. Instead of a girl getting married before age 20 and often suffering abuse by her husband, girls who attend primary and secondary school are more likely to have a say in who they marry.
Girls who attend school also are able to use more effective methods of family planning and therefore have fewer and healthier babies. An educated girl and woman will have learned about HIV/AIDS and know many different ways to protect herself from getting the disease. Every year of schooling helps a girl make better decisions for her and her family.
Women who attended school often have healthier families. These women are more likely to seek medical help from clinics or doctors. Because they can read, literate women can understand a doctor’s detailed instructions and follow up for help if needed. These women also can read nutritional labels and provide their family healthy meals that promote growth and lower cholesterol. Education also teaches young ones the importance of keeping herself and her house clean and safe.
As their families are healthier, so is the mother. She is less likely to be a young mother since she stayed in school and will have better-spaced pregnancies that are healthy for her body. Education is amazing: the World Bank determined that each year of school prevents 2 maternal deaths out of 1000 women each year!
Sending your daughters to school can be challenging to your pocket book and her safety. You can protect them with your support and involvement in their education. This will curb most teacher or student harassment that they would feel uncomfortable with.
BY AISHA SANI YARIMA, DEPARTMENT OF MASS COMMUNICATION, UNIVERSITY OF MAIDUGURI