There is an old African proverb that reads “If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family (nation).” And that proverb holds true today.
The importance of an education for women on this planet is paramount; by giving them the tools they need to survive and flourish will help them overcome sexist laws and constraints they may face depending on their location. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has even gone so far to regard female education a “silver bullet” in terms of empowering women and making progress with gender equality.
Here are a few reasons why female education is so important to everyone:
Helps put a stop to human trafficking. According to the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking, those who are the most vulnerable to fall victim to human trafficking rings are often undereducated and living below the poverty line. By simply educating women in fundamental skills and offering different opportunities, the human trafficking industry, which is currently valued at $32 billion annually, can be significantly reduced.
Smart family planning. Educating women has led to a reduction in accidental pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and are three times less likely to contract HIV when given a primary school education, according to The World Bank. Children of educated mothers double their chances of survival past age five, and the more a woman participates in her education, the smaller her family will most likely be.
Increases income. Education, no matter where you live, boosts your earning potential significantly. In under-developed countries especially, education not only enlightens women to the opportunities they can chase, as well as the tools to execute their dreams. According to research gathered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, just one year in primary school can increase a girls average wage by 20 percent.
Raises the literacy rate. It’s obvious that when children are educated, literacy is one of the first obstacles tackled. In today’s world, it’s nearly impossible to operate any sort of job effectively without knowing how to read, and, of the 163 million illiterate youth on the planet, almost 63 percent of those children are female.