THE ADVANTAGES OF FEMALE EDUCATION.
It is generally recognized today that the education of girls and women is one of the wisest and most profitable investments in social and economic terms. The benefits are numerous.
The first person to benefit from education is the woman or girl herself, as an individual and as a member of society. But the positive effects are felt also by her family (husband, children, parents), the community, society and the whole country.
There is a saying in Central Africa: “education opens the girl’s eyes”; in fact, her eyes are opened to several aspects:
The girl as an individual
Education leads to greater self-esteem and self-confidence, and opens up new horizons for girls, enabling them to discover their own potential, to develop themselves fully and increase their resistance to gender discrimination.
Education helps girls and women to have a positive impact on their families: better childcare (vaccination, schooling, etc.), better nutrition, decrease in child mortality, better communication with the children and other family members.
When women’s education is combined with an improvement in their status, they account for over 50% of the reduction of child malnutrition. An educated woman is better equipped to increase family income and resolve family problems satisfactorily. Her family’s wellbeing thus gets a big boost.
The community and society
Education heightens women’s awareness of the important role they can play in the community and society to find solutions to problems that impede development and social stability. Survival rates, schooling and community productivity increase as a result of women’s education, with a corresponding decrease in mother and infant mortality rates. The community and society thus become more prosperous.
With the awareness of her role as citizen, an educated woman can play a more dynamic role in addressing the economic challenges faced by her country, in the areas of agricultural production, food self-sufficiency, the fight against environmental degradation, the use and conservation of water and energy.
Education alone is obviously not enough to solve the world’s problems, but it remains an essential factor in any development activity.