Female Education in todays society is not a common topic among our generation X also commonly known as Millennials, and they are not to blame. Millennials have been brought up in an era where gender equality is not fought for but demanded and expected of, most of them unaware of that there are foundations such as ONE GIRL still fighting in areas such as Africa, Sierra Leone where female literacy rates are drastically low and child marriages a norm.
Over 130 million girls worldwide are denied an education, with there being multiple reasons that will prevent a girl child to be educated such as poverty and access to resources, the main reason and the basic simple truth is, millions of girls are prevented from going to school and receiving an education, simply because they were born a girl, which is a disturbing the notion.
There are 3 main reasons girls are prevented an Education
1. Sold into marriage
Sierra Leone, where the foundation ONE GIRL is working towards, 44% of girls are forced into marriage before they even reach the age of 18, which is also illegal. Some of the girls met through the foundation were married at the age of 11 and pregnant at the age of 12 to men who were old enough to be their fathers.
2. Forced Pregnancy
Another main reason girls drop out of school is teenage pregnancy, from being sexually assaulted, having unprotected sex or by selling themselves in exchange for food and money.
70% of families in Sierra Leone earn less than 2$ a day. They hardly get enough to pay for food and rent, paying for education is not anywhere near their priority. Families can usually only afford to send one child to school and the chosen child id almost everything a boy.
Looking at the above three main reasons of why a girl is prevented an education or is not able to complete her education, can be solved through education. Irony, the reasons preventing them girls from receiving an education is due to the lack of education and can be easily solves again with education. With education families can understand firstly its illegal for a child to be married under the age of 18, and secondly will understand that a child’s body at the age of 12 is not meant for pregnancy and that multiple pregnancies in a financially unstable families leads more toward poverty.
No girl should have to choose either or. Marriage over education is as ridiculous as it sounds.
With education, girls will be familiar with sex education and would know how to have safe sex, preventing unplanned pregnancies. Girls would also be qualified to find respectable jobs to support themselves. Finally again with education families would be able to understand the concept of family planning and plan out pregnancies so that they have enough to feed and educate all their children instead of one over the other.
Which brings us back to the importance of female education which can be achieved through constant and active support of foundations such as ONE GIRL that has made it their mission to increase literacy rates and create changes that will eventually start creating change.
ONE GIRL foundation believes when a girl is educated everything changes and the longer a girl is educated , the greater the benefits are. With female education, woman, mothers would understand the importance of it as well as understand that it is a necessary aspect of life. When a girl goes to school and get an education it automatically reduces the chances of her getting married under the age of 18 years old, decreasing the percentage of child marriages. More over with the education mothers and families would understand the importance of family planning and would be able to make better financial decisions for herself and her family which can impact the rate of poverty. Education provides girls with a specific skill set that they can use in their work place and contribute to society positively.
The girl effect is about leveraging the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves, their families, their communities, their countrie…
Video from ONE GIRL FOUNDATION website – Girl Effect.
According to One girl Foundation most people contributing on their foundations are mostly other foundations raising money for the cause or from donations from the older generations who were brought up in a society where education was not a common aspect but a privilege. Involvement from generation x is significantly less from the other groups who are involved in the foundation.
Involvement from generation x is equally as important as the other groups as they are the future and it is up them to carry out foundations such as ONE GIRL and to continue making changes and impacting the world positively and hopefully as a society we take one step closer to breaking the cycle of poverty. Generation X instead of expecting and demanding gender equality, they have to be actively involved in raising awareness and impactful amount of funds to make sure changes are taking place. Instead of demanding and expecting for gender equality they have to demand equal education rights worldwide.
If you would like to make a contribution please follow the link.
To find out more about the Foundation ONE GIRL follow the link.