India is one of the most populated countries. However, the rate of girl education is quite low in the country. It is quite troubling to see the figures in a country where women are given the status of goddesses. The figures have significantly improved to an extent but there’s still a long way to go.
Low Rate of Girl Education
There are various factors that make it impossible for girls to get an education in our country. Firstly, the poverty rate is alarming. Even though education is being made free, it still involves a substantial cost to send girls to school. Therefore, families who are struggling to make ends meet fail to pay the educational expenses of their children.
Secondly, in rural areas, there aren’t many schools. This creates a distance problem as they are located far from the villages. In some areas, students have to walk for three to four hours to reach their school. This is where the safety of the girls gets compromised so parents don’t see it fit to send them off so far.
Benefit of girl’s education
PREVENTING CHILD MARRIAGE AND EARLY PREGNANCY
An estimated 15 million girls a year are married before they are eighteen. Many are forced to marry by their families in exchange for a dowry — which is seen as a way of alleviating poverty within the family. Once married, many girls wanting to continue their education are often denied this right, due to traditional roles they are expected to play in the home, such as childbearing and cleaning.
Education is one of the most powerful tools to enable girls to avoid child marriage and fulfil their potential. And the longer a girl stays in school, the less likely she is to be married before the age of eighteen and have children during her teenage years.
It also gives girls the chance to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions including when, and whom, they will marry.
With twelve years of quality education, girls are up to six times less likely to marry as children — compared to those who have little or no education. Estimates show that if all girls had access to secondary education, child marriage would drop by 64%.
BUILDING MORE STABLE COMMUNITIES
Education builds resilience, enabling countries to recover from conflict faster once peace is established. In fact, inclusive, quality education can even help prevent conflict in the first place through lessons on problem-solving, social skills and critical thinking.
And whilst primary education is vital to girls, it’s secondary education that can be transformative. In certain countries, doubling the percentage of students finishing secondary school would halve the risk of conflict.
BETTER HEALTH, LONGER LIVES
Girls’ education has wide-ranging and transformative health benefits, which can be passed on through generations. Every additional year of school a girl completes cuts rates of infant mortality — the death of children under one year — by five to ten per cent. And if all girls received the proposed twelve years of fee-free, quality education, the frequency of early births would drop by 59% and child deaths would decrease by 49%.
Furthermore, women with post-primary education are also better able to protect both themselves and their families against other health risks. For example, they are five times more likely than illiterate women to be educated about the risk of HIV and AIDS and know how to practice safer sex and prevent infection. Educated mothers are also more likely to vaccinate their children.