Female Literacy: Educating Girls in Poverty

Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (a.k.a. World Poverty Day).

When it comes to extreme poverty, many studies have shown that education is one of the best investments for helping release children from its hope-crushing grip. And educating girls — female literacy — creates ripples that extend for generations.

Female Literacy Infographic Large

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  1. Katy February 2, 2016

    The infographic illustrates the importance of high quality education for all children, but most importantly, girls who live in poverty. The cycle of poverty is most likely to be broken through access to education. Furthermore, girls who do achieve success through education are more likely to give back to their family and community, increasing the amount of benefits that education impacts.

  2. Colleen February 22, 2014

    Education is so important to the success of a person. Those who live in poverty should not necessarily be predisposed to continue that pattern. The sad part is that it can be a vicious cycle that goes on and on and generations continue that same pattern. Women especially need to have education under their belt in order to be successful. They need to have that in order for others around them to see them as active members of society.

  3. Jaime February 21, 2014

    This infographic is very informative in showing how important it is to ensure every female is educated. I think many people know that it’s better for a girl to be educated than now. However, it absolutely blows me away that 10,000 girls a DAY get married before 15. I simply couldn’t imagine how a girl that young would be considered ready for marriage. I know that traditions are different in underdeveloped countries, but it’s important to show them that there are choices. I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to support a young girl in Uganda. I began paying for her schooling when she was in what would be third grade in the United States, and she is about to finish her schooling next year. What is such a small amount per month for me makes such a different for this girl there. She would not be able to attend school without my support, and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to do this for her. I hope that we continue to show these women that education and literacy are important.

  4. Kayla February 21, 2014

    Education is one of the most important factors in getting any person out of poverty. This info-graphic is very eye opening, but the facts do not surprise me. They are facts that we do not want to think about and do not want to believe are real, but we all know that these situations exist in our world. The one statistic that jumped out the most to me was that HIV and AIDS rates are reduced by 50% among youth who have completed primary education. One of the main reasons that I feel this is true is that when these girls are attending school, they are making friends who are also in school. They are around people who are there to get the same education as them, and the friends made in school will have better values than those that may be met on the street. Also, in school, these girls are learning how to read. They will now be able to read informational articles and learn about the dangers and consequences of having unprotected sex. Without being in school, they will not be exposed to reading instruction. Schools in my area, and I am sure in all areas of the United States have classes beginning in elementary school to begin exposing students to good touch/ bad touch, and situations that we, as humans, do and do not want to get ourselves in to. It is amazing to think that teachers and other educators can have such an impact on reducing the rate of girls contracting HIV or AIDS.

  5. stacy February 21, 2014

    I was shocked after reviewing the statistics listed on “The Ripple Effect- Educating Girls in Poverty.” One of the most shocking was, “A women who earns an income reinvests 90% of it into her family. A man typically spends 30-40% of his income on his family.” I always assumed that men invested just as much money into their families as women do. I am curious to know what other items men spend their money on other than their families? The second fact that I found interesting was, “More than 10,000 girls a day will get married before they turn 15. But girls with secondary schooling are 6 times less likely to marry before they turn 18.” This fact saddens me. I am aware that it is common for females to get married before they are 18 in other countries, but 10,000 girls a day is a larger number than I expected. As a mother, I would be heartbroken to give away my child at such a young age. In addition to giving her away, knowing that she did not have the education necessary to take care of herself if needed would rip my heart apart. I feel that as a developed country, we should support these women in reaching their goals and encouraging them to fight for independence.

  6. Cierra February 20, 2014

    “Education is one of the best investments to make for children who live in poverty.” This one quote is so powerful. Being educated does provide you with more opportunities to excel. After reading through all of the statistics I can honestly say that I am quite surprised. I knew that education had an impact on one’s life and their success, but I had no clue of the degree. The education level of a female can have a direct or indirect impact on her life to the extent of life or death. The fact about kids avoiding HIV was the biggest attention grabber. By simply receiving a primary education lives can be saved. When people know better, they do better and this statistic supports that theory. Getting married prior to the age of 15 shocks me. I remember being 15 years old and I didn’t know anything. These are children that are forced into adult situations, with adult responsibilities, and have to take on adult roles. They in turn make more poor decisions that worsen their conditions. Knowing that all of this could have been avoided if they were educated motivates me. I want to do my best to encourage and inform young women around me of other options in life that they may not be aware exist.

  7. AWhitley February 20, 2014

    As a parent of a rising middle school girl, I am shocked and dismayed by the information shared. I have always understood that education gives people the best opportunities in life. However, I didn’t really think about the deplorable conditions for females living in poverty. The cycle of poverty is especially devastating for women who might not be able to escape once they become wives and mothers. I think it is especially eye-opening for me to see that women reinvest 90 percent of their income back into their families while men only reinvest up to 40 percent. This inequality is amazing to me. It seems to be another case of a woman’s independence being hampered by being pushed into marriage and motherhood before being ready. The figure of 10,000 women A DAY getting married before they are 15 is horrendous. I just cannot believe that these women want to be married so young. What I believe that they are looking for is stability and a better life. How much better it would be if they were working toward empowering themselves inside a classroom instead of setting up house. The sad fact is that this problem is not only found in developing countries. How many young girls in the US are in a cycle of poverty that only education can break

  8. ac01458 February 20, 2014

    Honestly, I am slightly confused about one thing in particular on the infographic. Is the connection between HIV/AIDS rates connected to education because without the education they are simply unaware or is there something else that connects the two? Regardless, all of the stats are alarming and make me think of myself and the students I see on a daily basis. When thinking about them I can see the impact of education on the number of children a woman has. When comparing the students that I know that have dropped out and those that have stayed in school, the ones that dropped out married and/or began having kids very quickly. As the infographic indicates, the women who have less education and more kids will not be able to provide the same level of education and healthcare as those with higher education and fewer children. I think if we want to improve society and make sure we are all contributing members of society we must focus on education for both boys and girls that live in poverty. They need to learn the skills to improve their lives and see the good results that can occur when they stay focused and obtain higher levels of education.

  9. sc02050 February 19, 2014

    I thought the statistics listed were not only utterly depressing, but completely alarming. 700,000 cases of HIV could be prevents with primary school education. It is hard to read such a statistic when education in the United States is taken for granted. It is amazing just how little is needed to add such vast improvements to everyday life. It was also shocking to see how female independence has such little importance. While I personally vanquish in my independence, girls ten years my junior are married and beginning their families. And because they are not given the education they need, they cannot support their families and the vicious cycle continues. I thought it was so interesting that a girl with 7 or more years of education has two fewer children than those who do not. It goes to show that the girls having children at such young ages, are still children themselves, and cannot make informed decisions. This article proves how important education is, not only to improve the overall well-being, but their quality of life. Literacy is not only important for reading, and school work, it helps to make fuller and richer. It helps in making informed decisions about everything from politics to baking. These are skills that no person should have to live without.

  10. RBridge February 19, 2014

    It is often said that education is the key to success. I honestly could not agree more. An education is the most important investment of a lifetime. I have done some research on children growing up in poverty and learned that the majority of the children will remain in poverty unless they invest more time or years in their education. I know that children cannot help if they grow up in poverty, but they do have the opportunity to outgrow it with a proper education. I do not by any means think that transition is easy, but is possible. I could not believe some of the statistics that this blog provided. The fact that “more than 10,000 girls a day will get married before they turn 15,” completely astounds me. I just wonder how many more doctors, teachers or bankers there could be in the world if even half of those girls were able to finish secondary education. The world can be hard enough for girls without all of these issues against them. If girls could get a full proper education, they would be less likely to continue to live in poverty. I hope that the numbers in the statistics in this blog can change for the better in the near future.

  11. KM07143 February 14, 2014

    I feel that a quality education is the most important tool that we can give kids to help combat poverty. Some of the statistics in the infographic are startling. I think the static, More that 10,000 girls a day will get married before they turn 15 but girls with secondary schooling are 6 times less likely to marry before 18 definitely shows the contrast that an education can make. While I do recognize that some of the statistics focus more on global literacy and poverty, I can see the similarities to the impoverished communities here in the US. For example, I know of a small community in Kentucky where it is not uncommon for students to drop out of school by 9th grade. At lot of those dropouts are young girls who end up pregnant and married at an alarmingly young age. And yet, when I have spoken to the parents and family of the young couple, they will tell me how important they think an education is for their child. However, despite the fact that the community views literacy and education as important, the cycle keeps repeating. I’m not really sure how to help end this cycle, but I do know that literacy is going to be the key.

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