Women’s education garnered special attention this week as the yearly theme for International Women’s Day (IWD), which ahs focused on equality for women in the workplace and the growing importance of education for women. While developed countries have shown a positive shift in the amount of educated women in recent years, The Parliament Magazine reports that underdeveloped nations still struggle with a lack of educational opportunities for women.
Figures show that only around 30 percent of all girls worldwide manage to make it to secondary education, while 66% of all University students are men. This is especially prevalent in specific African countries, where the national total of women attending University can be as low as 200 or fewer. Governments in developing countries are often blamed for these situations, as without education women are seen as powerless and easier to control and suppress.
Developed countries, however, are also showing gaps for women in many areas, too, with fields such as science research dominated by men with a ratio of over 3:1.
In terms of literacy, the problem is evident, with overall global illiteracy data of 774 million participants showing that just 36% (or 278 million) of men are illiterate compared with 64% (or 496 million) of women.
The Obama administration aims to help attack this problem via a recently announced Let Girls Learn program, as reported by Kathryn Moeller of The Huffington Post. The premise of this program is that by educating women in the Global South, it will in turn create a ripple effect that will positively benefit the rest of the world with reduced poverty, improved economic activity, increased control of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and conservation of environmental resources.
Further stats show that on average, a girl who completes seven years of education will have 2.2 fewer children, which also holds positive benefits for future population control in developing countries.
This is not just limited to the US, however, with Dubai and their own Dubai Cares initiative focusing on the importance of education for young females as being a key factor in achieving progress and development for nations. Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares Tariq Al Gurg states how female education should be everyone’s responsibility:
“It is an unfortunate fact that in many of the countries we work in, girls’ access to education is extremely limited when compared to boys. While we are constantly showcasing how education can change girls’ lives and give them bigger control of their futures, we also educate communities and boys about the importance of education for all, thus making them strong advocates for women’s education in the long run.”
Equality in education is a constant theme for Dubai Cares, who reach over 13 million beneficiaries in 38 developing countries worldwide. They aim to achieve this by securing equal access of both boys and girls to a safe learning environment that provides adequate facilities, materials and support from qualified teachers.