LCP Cecille Nunez
Empowering girls and achieving gender equality are crucial to creating inclusive, open, and prosperous societies. Gender inequality, however, persists in many countries so it is important that we find ways of addressing this issue.
We know that investing in a girl’s education is both the morally right and smart thing to do. Girls who can get an education are less likely to be forced into marriage, become pregnant as children, or be victims of violence. Schooling is a process of empowerment, and it can provide the route out of poverty, inequality, and violence when delivered properly.
By proving education to young girls, we give them the power to conquer the world. An educated girl or young woman knows her rights. An educated woman can perform a job with her acquired skills. She will be able to take care of herself without being reliant on anybody. Girls’ education can make a lifelong difference to not only an individual’s life but to the larger society.
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is undermining continuous and quality education for girls. Scarce economic resources have resulted in a significant drop in families’ disposable income and hence less money for extracurricular education and academic activities. In some cases, and particularly for vulnerable groups of the population, children, and most often girls may drop out of school to take care of household chores and/or the care of siblings.
Thus, our Club, RC Pasay Metro Sunrise responded in our own little way of reaching out to some girls by giving them free mobile phones to be used for their online education. We also granted one college scholarship for a deserving girl from a poor family. Because we believe that in addition to improving quality of life, an inclusive education equips young people with the tools they need to develop as active citizens and champions of gender equality.
Here are five reasons why empowering girls matters to all of us:
- It’s her right.
Fundamentally, this is human rights issue. Discrimination has no place in the 21st century, and every girl has the right to go to school, stay safe from violence, access health services, and fully participate in her community.
- It creates healthier families.
When girls grow up and become mothers, they reinvest more of their income back into their families. Educated mothers are less at risk of maternal health complications because they are better informed about disease, preventative measures and healthcare access. In addition, educated mothers provide better nutrition and make better choices about their children’s future.
- It helps break the poverty cycle
Girls are more likely to invest back into their families in smarter and more beneficial ways. She will also have better educated children, which will set off an inter-generational impact that will aid in breaking the poverty cycle.
- It strengthens economies
Girls who receive a better quality education are more empowered to make better decisions and will make more substantial contributions to their local and national economies. For agricultural economies, agricultural income and productivity are higher when women involved in agriculture are better educated.
- It promotes political leadership amongst girls, which creates a more equitable society
If we are to achieve authentic gender equality in the future; we need more women in positions of power. Education equips women with the skills to develop into future leaders. Additionally, women are more likely to develop and advocate for policy that improves family and community life than men.
Improving the quality of education, which includes implementing a gender-sensitive curriculum, is essential to prepare young people with the skills they need to thrive in the world. Every girl has the right to be in charge of her future and her fate, and we have the collective obligation to protect her rights and promote her wellbeing.