Women are an important resource for global development, but many of those living in developing countries do not reach their full potential because they never had the opportunity to receive a proper education.
In its annual “State of the World’s Children” report, UNICEF says 124 million children worldwide do not attend school — 9 million more girls than boys. The report says an estimated 65 million girls are being denied basic education, increasing the likelihood they will live in poverty or die young.
The reasons that girls are kept away from school are varied.
Adverse cultural practices contribute to this occurrence because girls are more likely to stay home and be “taught” to be housewives. Formal education for them is not always seen as “necessary”.
The inability of parents or guardians to bear related costs of education, including uniforms, stationery, and food, as well as the opportunity costs of sending girls to school.
Long distances from home to school and too few facilities.
Poverty is a major contributor. If a family has limited funds and has to be selective on whom to send to school, more often than not, it is going to be the boys.
Lastly, if anyone is sick in the family or chores need to be done at home, it is more likely that the girls will be the ones to stay away from school and assist with whatever tasks need to be done.
As girls drop out of school, their chances of rising out of poverty diminish. They struggle to provide for themselves, and their children, trapped in low-skilled, poorly paid, and insecure employment. These women cannot help but pass on to their own children the deprivation and disadvantage that kept them from realizing their potential. The cycle of poverty and inequality continues.
Mentors International is helping to break this tragic cycle.
Mentors International is providing business training and job-focused vocational training to women of all ages. A MENTOR is assigned to each individual so that as they put into practice the training and education they have received, they will continue to grow and improve.
The women we serve move from everyday survival to planning for the future. They improve their businesses and job skills as well as their families’ entire socioeconomic standing. Their children eat better, live in improved housing conditions, receive better healthcare, and attend school. On average, these mothers increase their incomes by 159% while learning from Mentors International.
The benefits of providing women and girls with education can be seen beyond personal welfare and development, and well beyond their childhood. Educated women are more likely to seek medical care for themselves and their families, immunize their children, and provide proper nutrition and sanitation at home. An educated mother is more likely to have educated children, both boys, and girls. Additionally, educated women are less likely to be vulnerable to sexual abuse or exploitation.
Mentors International is creating a ripple effect of opportunity that is impacting women, mothers, sisters, and daughters with #ChangeforGenerations