This year’s theme is #PressforProgress and I can think of few betters ways to do that than to invest in or support girl’s education. Though I’d always had an idea of the difference even a high school education makes in the US, I had no idea how much just fifth grade can make a difference in other countries. I had no idea that girls weren’t getting to school at all in so many places. Then I read Half the Sky and I was appalled at all the conditions I’d had no idea were holding girls back from going to school. And then I found out that’s not the only book talking about this. It’s also covered in Paradise Beneath Her Feet, I Am Malala, Girl Rising, and Three Cups of Tea.
While all children need an education, the focus on girls comes from the tendency of parents in many countries to chose to educate only sons if there isn’t enough money for all of the children. While it’s an understandable choice, it still leaves those girls out of education. At the same time, several of these books focus exclusively on girls and children in areas that don’t have good public school systems. Even in the US, where we not only have a good public school system but one whose attendance is compulsory, there are girls not in school for unsavory reasons which are well explained in Girls Like Us. As all of the above books attest, educating all children is important for a lot of reasons, but mainly the progress even one girl with an education can bring a whole village.
Each of the above books has examples of girls getting to go to school and then bringing her knowledge back to her village and amazing things happening. One story has a woman who has dramatically improved the infant and maternal mortality rate of her village, another has a woman who dispelled terrorists from recruiting in hers. The stories are varied and nuanced but the common thread is that it helps to educate girls too. An educated girl is significantly less likely to be a child bride, as no girl should ever be. There’s a great list of reasons available on this website for those unfamiliar with what educating girls can accomplish.
With the goal of progress in mind, we must help more girls get an education. Here are some places to donate to that help girl’s education in different parts of the world:
- Malala Fund
- Central Asia Institute*
- She’s the First
- Girl Rising
- Girls Education and Mentoring Services**
There are also some ways to get some money flowing to children’s education without making a direct donation. There are several school options available on the Charity Miles app and from Amazon Smile (I had Pencils of Promise and now Malala Fund through them). Half the Sky Movement also has several organizations listed to help girl’s education or other forms of women’s empowerment.
While it’s fun to have get-togethers in different places, and I know there are large scale events happening, let’s also remember the girls out there who are not given the opportunity to get a quality education.