The Importance of Educating Girls

On this day in 2014, Malala Yousafzai addressed the United Nations on her 16th birthday. “Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One teacher, one book, one pen, can change the world.” Her words were powerful and her message continues to resonate today as we work to ensure that girls throughout the world have access to education.

“Girls’ education goes beyond getting girls into school,” states The World Bank. “It is also about ensuring that girls learn and feel safe while school; complete all levels of education with the skills and competencies to effectively compete in the labor market; learn the socio-emotional and life skills necessary to navigate and adapt to a changing world; make decisions about their own lives, and contribute to their communities and the world.”

According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, there are 130 million girls not in school—15-million girls of primary-school age will never enter a classroom. Poverty, cultural norms and practices, living in remote or underserved locations, and violence negatively impacts access to education for these future leaders of our world. According to The World Bank, here are some ways communities are overcoming these educational challenges:

  • Providing conditional cash transfers, stipends or scholarships;
  • Reducing distance to school;
  • Targeting boys and men to be a part of discussions about cultural and societal practices;
  • Ensuring gender-sensitive curricula and pedagogies;
  • Hiring and training qualified female teachers;
  • Building safe and inclusive learning environments for girls and young women;
  • Ending child/early marriage; and
  • Addressing violence against girls and women.

And while much is being done to rectify the situation, much still needs to be done. Today, as we celebrate the courage of Malala and support her mission for education, we encourage you to find at least one way you can support educational efforts in your own community. In Jacksonville?  Sign up today to be a mentor during Generation WOW 2017–click here for details.

We’d love to hear what you are doing—drop us a note on Facebook or Twitter!

We leave you with a couple of quotes from Malala to keep you inspired and motivated:


Educating Girls 1


Educating Girls 2