sponsor a child

Why educating girls matters

800,000 girls are defying the odds and sitting at desks.


I love stories of unexpected people doing unexpected things. This is partly why I’m so passionate about championing women and girls. Every day they face disproportionate violence, discrimination and stigma, all because of their gender. Yet when they come up against these barriers, they show exceptional resilience, strength and courage.

This isn’t to say men and boys don’t do the same, so why are we only talking about girls here?

Back in 2015 the United Nations set some bold targets through the Sustainable Development Goals. One of these was to ensure women and girls have equal access to education. This was born out of recognition that women and girls are key to ending extreme poverty. And by tackling access to education, one of the biggest issues affecting them we create a ripple effect that benefits everyone.

A girl’s education is important

In cultures where a girl is considered to have a lower social status, her education is seen as less valuable. For families living on very limited income and resources they often choose to prioritise their son’s education. Even when a girl makes it into the classroom, she is three times more likely to drop out of school compared to her male counterpart.

 

Maria from Colombia

 

For Maria, when the winter rains in Colombia washed away her home, her father broke the news that the family could no longer afford to pay for her to go to school. But, thanks to Compassion, a sponsor was able to step into the gap. Through sponsorship she received uniforms, school materials and help with fees so she could continue with her schooling.

A girl’s education is good for the economy

When a girl stays in school for longer her earning potential increases. Studies show that an extra year of primary education increases her future wage by 10-20 percent and an extra year of secondary school by 15-20 percent. What’s more, a woman is likely to invest 70 percent of her earnings back into the family .

With your support, Compassion-supported children are over 40 percent more likely to complete secondary school than their non-sponsored peers, and they go on to have better jobs.

A girl’s education helps protect her

Harmful cultural practices such as FGM and early child marriage not only puts a girl’s life in danger, it can also bring an end to her formal education.

For Margaret, growing up in a rural Ugandan village where it’s customary for girls to marry young she was at risk of being forced to drop out of school. But with the help of Compassion and the encouragement of her sponsor, Margaret has not only finished her schooling and completed her degree with honours. She went all the way to parliament, lobbying for girls just like her to get the opportunity to learn.

 

Margaret Makhoha

 

For every year girls like Margaret stay in secondary school education, they are six times less likely to marry before they’re 18. The stories of Margaret and Maria show the incredible difference giving girls access to education has. These girls are defying the odds, they’re not just sitting at school desks, but they’re sitting at desks that will influence the next generation of women and girls.

 

Sponsor a girl born into poverty

 

Written by Emily Laramy with Bekah Legg.

[i] World Bank (2011)  

[ii] UNESCO (2011) 

WORDS : Emily Laramy

PHOTOS : Compassion International


 

Article Comments

Why educating girls matters

This article was very informative and as a mother of two girls living in Scotland it really struck a cord with me. We take for granted our girls education and it's heart breaking to read the statistics in this article. However, it is soo important to highlight this issue as it is fundamental to making positive changes to countries in relation to its economy, health and many other areas . I am grateful that Compassion are highlighting such an important topic and the individual stories are a real witness to God's teaching of loving others as our self.
3 November 2016 |  Author : Pamela Maclure
Article Comments

ARTICLE COMMENTS

Why educating girls matters

This article was very informative and as a mother of two girls living in Scotland it really struck a cord with me. We take for granted our girls education and it's heart breaking to read the statistics in this article. However, it is soo important to highlight this issue as it is fundamental to making positive changes to countries in relation to its economy, health and many other areas . I am grateful that Compassion are highlighting such an important topic and the individual stories are a real witness to God's teaching of loving others as our self.
3 November 2016 |  Author : Pamela Maclure
Leave a comment

Leave A Comment

Leave A Comment

MORE STORIES FOR YOU

11Sep

Where are they now? 15 child sponsorship success stories

Does child sponsorship work? Compassion graduates share how they’ve overcome poverty.


31Aug

What’s in your school bag? 15 photos from around the world.

At the start of a new term, children from Togo to Peru give us a peek into their school rucksacks!


21Aug

Our values

65 years of unwavering integrity and depth of professional experience have built a foundation of great credibility for Compassion’s ministry.


, ,

21Aug

Child sponsorship testimonials

Read our child sponsorship testimonials and discover more about the difference you can make.


10Aug

Hungry no more

Thanks to one local church and one Compassion sponsor, Lance has overcome malnutrition. He is hungry no more.


7Aug

How do you choose a child to sponsor?

Faced with the photos of many children all waiting for a sponsor, the decision can appear overwhelming. Here are some helpful tips that will make it easier…


27Jul

Meet the champions behind your sponsored child’s photo

Behind every child there’s an army of family members and project staff cheering them on.


10Jul

A life of hope in a world destroyed by drugs

When Angelyn’s family fell apart, the weight of responsibility fell on her young shoulders.


,

4Jul

July Magazine 2017

Inspired by stories of transformation and hope, July’s magazine is all about taking you closer to a sponsored child’s world. Discover what goes into a...


,

4Jul

From a cardboard box to a seeker of justice

“The support of a sponsor helps children to be better and stronger than they could ever imagine.”


20Jun

Deafened by malaria but not defeated

This summer, hear Shamim’s story firsthand at the brand new Compassion Experience.