Guest Author - Andria Bobo
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, education is a human right. Receiving an education can change oneís life in so many important ways. It can lift one out of poverty, provide many options for employment or further education, improve oneís decision-making skills, improve oneís ability to care for a family, empower one to set and achieve important goals. Itís no wonder that education is considered a crucial human right.
It is an especially important human right for women and girls, who havenít always necessarily been the focus of education in the past or the present. There are many, many wonderful reasons to educate women and girls; here are just a few of those reasons listed below:
1. Educating girls and women can improve maternal health in many ways. It encourages women to give birth under the direction of trained medical professionals, making their childbirth process safer and more low-risk. It can reduce the number of very young mothers, reduce the risk of infant death, reduce the risk of birth complications, and increase protection against diseases like HIV and AIDS. Additionally, it can improve a womanís understanding of family planning, which can reduce the number of children she has.
2. Educating women also provides benefits for their families, especially their children. One example of this is that children of educated mothers with are twice as likely to survive beyond the age of five. Another example is that children of educated mothers are more likely to be immunized. A third example is that children of educated mothers are more likely to stay in school longer than their peers (children of uneducated mothers).
3. There are, of course, direct benefits to women and girls who receive educations, too. Women and girls who are educated become literate, which opens many doors for them. It increases their self-confidence and their self-esteem. It improves their decision-making skills and their critical-thinking skills, both of which are necessary for everyday life. Each additional year of school beyond primary school affords a woman more employment opportunities and options to choose from. Education promotes gender equality and womenís empowerment.
As you can see, educating girls and women can change not only their lives but the lives of their families drastically. Protecting their human right to an education is crucial in order to ensure that they are able to live the full, healthy, happy lives that they deserve.