The Girl Effect is quite simple: when the lives of girls are improved, their whole communities improve with them.
In my former life, before I spent 100% of my time sewing and thinking about sewing (as opposed to only 50%), I was a lobbyist for a non-profit education association. Education policy took up a huge portion of my brain space.
Even though it’s no longer my job to care, education is still of critical importance to me. The power (political, personal, economic) bestowed on an individual by having a decent education cannot be overstated.
If you care about the well being of your community, your country, society in general, or the world in general, you have to care about education.
Which is why The Girl Effect really resonates with me. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we? (Statistics quoted from The Girl Effect fact sheet.)
An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.
One extra year of school = 25% increase in wages? Who wouldn’t take that deal??? Okay great, so when that girl becomes a woman, she’ll have a little bit more money. So what?
When women and girls earn income, they re-invest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
That friends, is the Girl Effect. Investment in girls means investment in whole families, communities, countries, and the world. It really is that simple. Also worth noting:
When a girl in the developing world earns seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
This matters, because 25 to 50 percent of girls in developing countries become mothers before the age of 18, and complications from childbirth are the leading cause of death of girls aged 15 to 19 WORLDWIDE.
A few extra years of education would literally save lives.
Are you convinced how powerful the Girl Effect can be? Watch this video. It’s not even 3 minutes long, and you can even leave the sound off if you’re in your office:
You can also pay attention. Listen to conversations about policy, politics, economics, and social issues, and make sure girls and their extraordinary transformative power are a part of that conversation.