The Need  |   Goals

Educating children can help end the global ‘cycle of poverty.’ According to UNICEF, more than half of the adults in the world (64%) who cannot read or write are women. India has one of the lowest female literacy rates in Asia.

Many barriers prevent girls from attending school in developing countries. Gender discrimination keeps girls at home. Also, financial constraints result in families prioritizing the education of boys over girls.

This has a negative impact on the lives of women, their families and society as a whole. Illiterate women tend to have high birth and mortality rates, poor nutrition, and low earning potential. The lack of education can also have a negative impact on the health and well being of their children. Uneducated girls grow up to be disadvantaged women. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, in five districts of Uttar Pradesh, India, 18-45% of husbands reported physically abusing their wives. This was especially true for men who were extremely poor. These men also tended to have shorter life spans due to poor health and disease, often leaving their wives with the burden to look after large families.

It is important that societies work to ensure female literacy. Educated women are more likely to educate their own children. Education can give girls the confidence required to make the most of their abilities, help put young women on a path to economic empowerment, and promote gender equality in the developing world.