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. alexandra ameduri March 8, 2020

    Obviously, we know that education is incredibly important, but the statistics in this post are simply astounding. Over half of secondary aged girls are in secondary education and 20% of girls do not complete sixth grade. That statistic alone is enormous, but when you consider the ramifications it becomes mind blowing. More than 10,000 girls under 15 get married a day, yet with a secondary education, girls are 6 times less likely to get married under 18. Education is powerful and shows without it, girls in poverty are at the mercy of more powerful men. By investing in female education, poverty can be slowly reduced in what you term as the ripple effect. Female health, wealth, and future generations are more secure and healthier all because women reinvest their money at a 90% rate in comparison to men at 30%-40%. So, next time I consider buying a beauty subscription box for myself or other, I will consider something far more powerful and life changing.

    1. Mackenzie March 9, 2020

      Alexandra, thank you so much for your thoughtful response! It is amazing how much of a difference literacy can make in the life of a child! God bless you! ?

  2. Amelia A Neiger March 10, 2019

    I am amazed at the statistics surrounding information about girls in poverty. It is incredible to see the positive affects that receiving an education for young women can do. I was surprised to see that only forty three percent of girls attend secondary school in developing countries. I also could not believe how going to school decreased the chance of becoming infected with a disease, like HIV, it meant that women were likely to get married later in life, and that they were likely to have less children so they could take care of the ones the already have. Giving these young girls the power of an educated mind clearly increases their quality of life significantly. It is astounding to see that if you just equip people with education, the ability to read, write, speak, then they are able to accomplish so much more than they could have before. When you are able to read, then you become more aware of the possibilities and what else is out there in life. You realize the importance of reading to learn more, such as the news, information about health, and many other useful resources to improve your quality of life. The effects of educating females in poverty lasts a lifetime and influences many future generations to come.

  3. Shirley Close March 10, 2019

    The statistics are very alarming but makes sense. The one stat that stood out the most was knowing that “1 year of schooling increases a girl’s individual earning power by 10-20%”. Even in the United States, a lot of children living in rural poverty-stricken areas have only one parent and usually that parent lacks the education to provide for the family properly. Also, we find that the parent may lack the time or the education to help their children learn and learning cannot be just a school event, learning needs to occur at home as well. Value of education also plays a role in poverty, meaning, some cultures think that the woman should not be the head of the family nor become educated. Sadly, to say that “90% of what women make goes to the family but only 30-40% of what men make goes to their families”, is an on-going crisis in the United States not just in third world countries. Women struggle every day to make ends meet for their children and some people cannot see that this struggle is real. But this process does makes sense about how poverty and lack of education becomes a repeating factor in generations. There is no opportunity to get out of the crisis other than someone providing extra support. As an educator, to know that we can make such an impact on a woman’s life is astronomical. As a mother of four beautiful and intelligent children, I am a witness to the fact that education investment in women does make a difference. I was a single mom of three children and if I had not valued an education nor had an education, my family too may be living in poverty. My children know the struggle and also value the importance of an education.

  4. Shannon Bentley March 10, 2019

    “More than 10,000 girls a day will get married before they turn 15,” says one of the headlining statistics in this post. I cannot fathom this idea. Working in a middle school with girls who are approaching this age, brings this number too close to home. It is unimaginable for me that many of the girls I know would leave school and become wives and mothers at this tender age. Although many of them may aspire to become wives and mothers one day, I think it is a tragic sense of the poverty cycle. Given a chance, with more education and security in their environment, many of those 10,000 plus would choose to pursue other areas and aspects in their futures. They could become better contributors to their communities at large, not to mention the direct impact that being better educated would eventually have on their own children and future generations being able to better themselves. Having the power to choose what to do with those skills and the ability to make those choices speaks volumes about the importance of reaching children with literacy and education, specifically girls.

  5. Nikki Partain March 10, 2019

    As an American educator, sometimes my view of poverty is limited. I picture my students who come from single-parent households and come from little means. I see these students struggle because of little home support, having more home responsibility than appropriate for their age, and distractions that come from hunger, lack of sleep, and other impacts of poverty. This post reminded me of the reality of poverty worldwide. Being born into poverty in a developing country can be a death sentence considering the lack of medical care and high rates of HIV/AIDS. Education may be the only tool the girls represented in this infographic have for escaping poverty. I had not considered the connection between primary education and a reduction in HIV/AIDS. It makes sense, though. If girls are in school, they are less likely to be married off at a young age. The statistic that 10,000 girls a day get married before they turn 15 is particularly striking. There is a clear connection between child marriage and higher rates of STIs, such as HIV/AIDS. Also, the infographic tells us that girls who receive just seven years of education marry four years later on average. This is especially telling considering the statistic shared that only one in five girls will complete the sixth grade in developing countries.

  6. Taylor Schultz March 8, 2019

    This blog post was extremely eye-opening and just shows that change needs to be put into to place in order to help girls in poverty get a literacy education. Even in the United States, we see students and families that are in lower income and poverty situations struggling. Many of these parents cannot read, and therefore they cannot help their children learn literacy skills. I found it shocking that the number of girls getting HIV and AIDS decreases when they receive primary education. I never would have thought that those two things would go hand-in-hand, but after seeing the statistics and viewing this article it makes a lot of sense. When these girls are receiving a primary education and are more focused on learning and reading, they do not have to focus so much on getting a husband to help support them, they can more so support themselves. When you are able to read and write you can achieve such a higher potential. Education is so important because it leads to more opportunities and the overall increasing power of what girls can achieve. If we can sponsor these girls and help in any way with their literacy skills and abilities they can pose the power of knowledge and create better outcomes for themselves.

  7. Sarah March 6, 2019

    The statistics here are overwhelming. Each one speaks volumes to why we should invest in women’s education around the world. Unfortunately, many of us are sheltered from the harsh realities of how so many people live and we forget the impact that education (or a lack thereof) has on so many cultures and societies. And not only do these situations directly affect the wellbeing of those living in them, but they also affect the overall well being of the world on a whole.
    Improved and more education for women has the potential to improve health on a global scale and especially in developing countries. It is amazing to me the number of female children that get married and have children of their own at such an early age. Unfortunately, many of these situations are ingrained part of cultural beliefs and norms. I believe the best way to initiate positive change is through education of the entire society (and not just its women). And through supporting organizations that are doing just that.

  8. Suni Cawthon March 3, 2019

    These statistics are compelling and convicting. Education for young women has the potential to lessen contagious diseases (such as HIV), decrease the number of child brides and improve the quality of life for so many girls and young women around the world. I am surprised and intrigued by the fact that men in developing countries spend 30-40% of their income on their families, while women spend 90% of their income on their families. It seems that if you want to make more of a difference in breaking the cycle of family poverty then investing in educating girls and young women is the way to go!
    I am a teacher in one of the richest countries in the world, but I teach in a poverty-stricken area. I see the effects of undereducation in our families, community and work places. Education is a privilege that should be given to all, regardless of where one lives, because it is the only way to level the playing field between the rich and poor. Wealthy people are born with more opportunities more readily available to them. Children from lower income areas have the right to the best education possible in order to give them equal opportunities for success. I love that this ministry gives “the least of these” a fighting chance!

  9. Candace Loudermilk February 18, 2018

    This is truly an eye-opening page and blog. I had never heard of this program until a professor at my college showed me the sit. This is truly informational and heartbreaking. I am truly a numbers person, and understand the world better through them. These numbers are insane! The facts on HIV alone are mind-blowing, and completely break my heart. I have heard it time and again that education is the key to better life, and this is so true. Literacy is simply a key to the world, and should be given to all youth. Being able to read can open so many doors and can keep our children from going down the paths of so many before them. I am very interested in this program and will definitely be looking further into this. “Less than half of secondary school age girls are in school in developing countries,” is a sentence that breaks my heart. We need to embrace these children and do what we can to help those that cannot help themselves. I do not know who could look at this one screen and not know what they need to do. Save our young people and give them the knowledge to rule the world!

  10. Ryan February 18, 2018

    Before looking at this blog, I knew that education was important. This belief was confirmed after reading through it; I also have a few extra statistics to use when explaining the importance of education to others. The first number that shocked me was the how the number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses would decline with receiving a primary grade education. Even though the treatment for HIV/AIDS is tremendously better than 30 years ago, if we can prevent people from getting infected by encouraging education, this is a no brainer. I was also taken aback by the number of girls under the age of 15 who get married everyday, 10,000. This was staggering to me. Of course I knew that these marriages occurred, but I did not realize the number was that high. On a personal note, I look back at my wife and I getting married at 20 years old and think that we were really young; we also have a 17-year-old daughter and to think of her married at this age would be scary. My wife and I have stressed the importance of an education in relation to future employment opportunities and income to our daughter as well. The importance of this belief is supported by the statistic that education increases the earning power of girls.

  11. Ashley February 18, 2018

    These statistics are shocking to say the least. The value of literacy can not be swept under the rug any longer. It is important to focus on educating the leaders of tomorrow. Education is the most important weapon you can give any person. Investing in a young girl’s literacy skills is an investment in to the future. It is crazy to think of all the good that can come from placing literacy in a child’s grasp.

    I think the most shocking statistic up there was the dramatic reduction of AIDS in girls who are literate. After reading that, why wouldn’t we invest in these children?After reading that, why wouldn’t we invest in these children? After reading, my eyes are more open to everything that can be affected by improved literacy, it is NOT just learning to read. It is a gift that will keep on giving in every aspect of a person’s life.

  12. T. Corbin February 17, 2018

    Education in poverty-stricken areas is so much more important than we originally perceived. For young women, it is their way to a better life and a way out of their current situations. We do not value education enough, and we take it for granted daily. After reading these statistics, I was blown away by the negativity behind the research. The one statistic that really stood out to me and made my heart sink was, “HIV and AIDS rates are reduced by 50% among youth who have completed primary education.” This broke my heart when I realized that the only way out of terrible diseases for young females was to get an education that, sometimes, is not readily available and there for them to take advantage of. Education is a lifeline for these young women. A second fact that hit me kind of hard was that when girls become educated, their marriage age increases significantly. They will be married later in life, and by their own choice more likely. Women are forced to marry at a young age and that takes them out of school. They become mothers at a young age, and the cycle is more likely to continue. It is my job as a female advocator for young women around the world, and for them to get the justice and education that they need and deserve.

  13. murphy corley February 16, 2018

    For years my family has sponsored a little boy through this program, we would read about his schooling and get letters from him. I never thought about statistically what it meant for him to be in school. I always just thought it was great he could go to a school and learn with his peers. Reading these statistics was eye opening and an incredible way to show that knowledge truly is power. In the states, we think about education as the normal. I am lucky in the sense that I have never even, for a second thought, there would be a time when I could not go to school. I also never thought about how I being in school could affect my life in the sense of marriage and health. As a teacher, this is so eye opening to how impactful we can be to our students. Changing their normal is a goal we should all strive for, educating them on things that not only can help them but that they can take home with them and use to help their family and community that is the goal. These girls can change the world and that all begins with them learning properly and effectively at school and staying in school for as long as possible.

  14. April February 15, 2018

    These statistics are shocking, in both positive and negative ways. The negatives are obvious (HIV stats), but in looking at some of these statistics, it sheds a more positive outlook, and shows how powerful girls/women can be. Look at what they can accomplish if they have the opportunity to be educated! Furthermore, they not only help themselves to succeed, but also give their family a better chance by providing them 90% on their income, which can give a younger generation the opportunity to be educated and successful as well. If we can help get this started, the girls/women will help to keep it going. To me, this shows that if we can give the children the opportunity, they can succeed. I have heard thinks like, students can’t learn, or can’t learn as well, because of their economic status. These statistics prove them wrong. It does not matter what background the child has, all children can learn, and can create an empowering, positive effect on others as well. Seeing some of these statistics reminds me of a sort of saying I’ve heard, if a child isn’t in school what are they doing? It means that if school is not occupying a child’s time, something else is, and many times, it’s not something positive. It could be something that helps the person gain success, like working, or in some cases, participating in things that will make it more difficult to achieve success. All these girls need to become successful and start this ripple effect, is a little help to get started.

  15. Kayce February 15, 2018

    “Education is certainly one of the most powerful weapons a person can poses. Knowledge is the most valuable and the most underrated thing that exists in this world. Prosperity, sincerity, welfare, happiness all hide behind education’s shadow.” I thought this quote from a young female writer/ blogger, Rajna Removic was perfect as we fight for the education of young girls in poverty. Wow the powers of educations. I strongly believe that education changes people and can change lives. I think that as a person’s brain is growing through educating themselves with reading, writing, math etc… it also changes who they are as a person. It challenges their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas. However, education also gives people more voice then they ever knew they had. Through research I have done on the powers of education bringing people out of poverty, I also learned the dark truth of governments working to keep their people uneducated and in poverty. As people become less dependent on the government, and have more of a voice and it change the dynamics for politicians. It is heartbreaking to think that so many work against educating their people, and women, as well as minority, always seem to be a big target. I am saddened as I read the facts listed on the blog about girls in poverty. It seems to be a vicious cycle for some many, especially in these high poverty counties. I pray that organization like this can continue to be a voice for these young girls and fight for them.

  16. Alexis Halkyard February 13, 2018

    I have always thought of education as being the foundation to helping someone out of poverty; however, until reading this blog I never realized the importance and impact of female literacy in poverty-stricken areas. As a female, I feel ashamed for not valuing my education as much as I should. The statistics listed above are extremely moving and eye opening. One statistic that really stood out to me was that “HIV and AIDS rates are reduced by 50% among youth who have completed primary education.” For this reason alone, female literacy should be a top priority in developing countries. Hundreds of thousands of innocent lives could be saved if more females were given the chance to primary education. Another statistic reads, “A girl in the developing world who receives 7 years of education…marries 4 years later…decreasing pregnancy death rates and infant mortality.” The endless cycle of high poverty rates and death rates in developing countries could be broken if more females were given the opportunity to be educated. As most everyone knows, literacy is a fundamental right for all people, yet women seem to be denied this right all the time. In order for things to change, developing countries can no longer ignore women’s rights and the importance of female literacy. As a female educator, I believe it is my job to continue to raise awareness of this issue and find ways to support a change in how our world values female literacy.

  17. Jamie Sexton February 13, 2018

    Seeing these numbers is very eye-opening. Poverty has become a national crises and is very alarming in third-world countries, especially with young girls. I was blown away that 1 out of every 5 girls does not complete the 6th grade which is more than likely the reason why they get married by age 15 so that they can be dependent on others. However, getting married at age 15 then makes other numbers stagnant such as HIV or having more kids. Educating girls in poverty is very important because as they numbers prove, just one year of schooling can increase a female’s earning power by 10-20%. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but in a third-world country, that is huge. One statistic that really stood out to me was the percentage of income that men and women spend or invest into their families. Females are more than doubled that of men and to me, the reason for this is because the females have a first-hand experience of how powerful education is. As an educator, I tell students all the time about the power of one. Many students I teach come from a form of poverty whose parents work multiple minimum-wage jobs, whose parents are illiterate, or whose parents didn’t go to college. What these students don’t realize is that education is their way out so they don’t end up like their parents and just another statistic. They could be the one who changes the lives of their families and are the only one who can change their life and it starts at school.

  18. Savannah February 12, 2018

    Clearly, education levels are not equal across genders. These shocking statistics prove that girls are receiving the short end of the stick in regards to education. It is known that women who are uneducated are more likely to get married younger, have multiple children, and not provide a high level of infant care. The statistics in this blog reinforce this concept. This needs to change; we need to invest in women on a global and local level. While, using resources to benefit others on a global scale is very important sometimes we overlook the need in our local community. There is still a large need for an improvement in education in the U.S.
    According to the Huffington Post, the literacy rate in the U.S. has remained stable for the past 10 years. This is a huge problem! There are several initiatives funded by the federal government to address literacy but nothing has changed. This issue needs to be tackled on a federal and local level. Teachers need to be instructed on how to teach reading effectively and how to differentiate instruction to reach all students. We also need to develop an initiative to influence the world locally and globally. If we are able to improve the literacy rate in women and girls across the country, the world would be a much better place.

  19. Jessica Foster February 7, 2018

    These statistics speak loudly about the importance of education. I am thankful that I grew up in a family that knew the importance of education, and even more thankful that I grew up during a time and in a nation where a female didn’t have to fight to earn an education, it was provided to me. To think that there are 10,000 females that get married each day that have not even reached the age of 15 and that 1 out of 5 girls in developing nations do not have an education past 6th grade brings out a lot of emotions in me. These are still children who are now taking on adult roles and have not even been educated enough to do so. To know that woman invests 90% of her income back into her family and that only one year of education increases the earning of a female by 10 to 20 percent proves several things. That females are family driven and the importance of education.

    After reading all of these statistics, it shows the importance of education. The fact that those of us that can support and make changes need to do so for others who cannot. I think it would also be interesting to see statistics on males. I am sure we could also see a correlation in males and education as well. I hope that soon education for everyone won’t be a privilege but a given.

  20. J. Joshua Kono March 6, 2016

    I am a sponsor of 2 little children from Nicaragua through Compassion and both of them are girls and they both come from single Mom’s homes.
    They were carefully selected because I was specifically looking for children coming from such family backgrounds for sponsorship.
    Having come from a single-parent home myself, I would imagine
    loneliness, lack of love and affection, sense of inferiority or prejudice they may suffer today or in days to come, and they are constantly reminded that they are a little different from all other children in many ways.
    Perhaps, their Moms, too, might have suffered from these issues when they were small and certainly these girls, too, if left alone.
    In my letters to them, I always tell them how precious they are in God’s eyes and how much I love them like my own daughters.
    God has wonderful plans for them and they can serve Him better if they are better educated.
    I also encourage them to dream even the things that seem impossible and to remain true to their ideals, because someday they will come true.
    Having witnessed how my mother had struggled as a single Mom to take care of me and having learned that she, too, came from a single Mom’s home, I will say 120% YES! to education for girls and women.
    To girls, education is not only the way out of poverty and dependence, it is the weapon with which they can defend themselves against injustice and, and it is also the means by which they can possess self-esteem, virtues and godliness.
    It is a mandate to all who call themselves Christians to speak and act on behalf of the poor and weak whose voices have always been silenced in the name of political interest, free trade or mere inconvenience, because our LORD God is pathologically obsessed with the rights of the widows and orphans.

  21. Zanetta Horn February 21, 2016

    This post is powerful. The combined statistics and information about girls and education spoke volumes. As educators we are focused on education within our school/ school district and often don’t take the time to think about kids and education in other parts of the world. Education is empowering. The post shows that with a few more years of education, girls are less likely to marry early and have babies early in life. This will help the girl make more informed decisions about life, her health and educating her own children, thus breaking the cycle. The post also shows that a few more years of education will help with the amount of money she might earn. The money that she earns is more likely to be reinvested into her family helping to reduce poverty and the need for government assistance if it exists. The statistics about AIDS are powerful and will help out the entire world. HIV and AIDS are reduced by 50% for students receiving only a primary education. This would prevent over 700,000 HIV cases per year. WOW. I often wondered why Oprah Winfrey would go to Africa and build a school overseas, when we have schools in need of help here in the US. Now I know why.

  22. Joyce February 20, 2016

    I had never heard some of these numbers before. This graphic is really a great educational tool and showed be shown more. I think that sometimes we in the United States fail to think outside of our own city, state, or country and see what education is like for others around the world. All of the facts show what impact you can have when you educate women. The one statement that really stood out to me was that “one year of schooling increases a girl’s individual earning power by 10 to 20 %”. To me that is an amazing number about should shut down any arguments that anyone would say about educating women. Another statement that I thought was important was how women invest their income into their families. I have always read that educating women is better for them families because of this. A women brings so much to a family without the education factor, but with it it just shows how incredible it can be to a family unit. I have always thought that women can do so much more when they are educated and this graphic really tells the story of why it is so important.

  23. Lisa Seeley February 19, 2016

    Thank you for the heart of compassion your organization has for children! One can certainly consider giving to promote female literacy, especially for girls in poverty, as an investment. An investment like this has potential for lasting effects for generations to come. Education is really something that many Americans take for granted. My family has been doing mission work in Haiti since I was 3 years old. Most children there want more than anything to go to school. However, that is a luxury not many can afford. Most parents can’t pay to send their children to school and those that do face other challenges such as transportation. Right now I have a Haitian friend who had to pull his kids out of school because he couldn’t afford it. That just breaks my heart. As a teacher, it is almost maddening to have students complain about going to school. One of my most favorite reading workshops that I teach focuses on child labor and poverty around the world. Most of my students end up realizing just how fortunate they are to receive a free, quality education. Thank you for being part of awareness and part of the solution! Literacy is one of our most potent weapons to fight off poverty!
    On a side note…I found the data concerning how women and men reinvested their income back into their families to be hilariously accurate, even though I’m sure some may perceive it as stereotypical. 🙂

  24. Courtney Callicutt February 19, 2016

    This infographic truly touched me. It’s so easy as an American woman to bemoan how “difficult” life can be stateside. We constantly complain about having to pay for birth control, not receiving equal compensation in comparison to our male counterparts, and struggling through unpaid maternity leaves. This infographic proves that there are bigger fish to fry in the world of equality! The statistics available on this infographic are staggering…education and literacy literally save lives! Not only do the statistics show a significant drop in the cases of HIV/AIDS {a reduction of 50% for children who complete a primary education!}, but instances of young girls becoming brides also drops. Each year I sponsor a Zambezi Schoolbook Drive along with my local chapter of the Pilot Club and I cannot wait to use this infographic in my “pitch” for the book drive. Many of these statistics cite only a simple, primary education and I’d love to see the statistics of how a secondary and post-secondary education can change a girl’s life. I am so thankful that I had a right to a free and appropriate education. It’s staggering what a difference literacy can make.

  25. Megan Davis February 18, 2016

    I am a teacher, and I have never seen statistics relating to these before. I was not aware of the impact an education in general (not paying attention to quality or type) could have on the life of a girl. It seems common sense that female education is more likely to promote success within the family, as the mother often makes the most decisions and spends the most time with the children. If the mother is education, she will hold the expectation that her children will also be educated and successful. I believe that an understanding of the impact an education can have on the lives of individuals and their children in the future, could lead to much more success with education for our younger generations. I feel as if we need to make a better effort to inform families of the importance of education to break the cycle of poverty, so that they support their children and do everything necessary to help them obtain an education successfully.

  26. Takeyra D February 18, 2016

    This was a very informative info graphic illustration. The picture said a mouth full in few words, which is what, caught my attention. The information shown surprising was not new information to me. I was a little shocked by the exact statistic, buy not at all surprised. Educating females in poverty is a very touchy subject because it is still very true today. Females who are living in poverty are not held at a high standard to succeed. Statics have shown that poverty stricken females are most likely to take on the woman of the house role to help support their family or get married at a young age. Females living on poverty don’t really have a say in many things such as education, their body, money and so much more. It saddens me to know that females are deprived their voice because of their gender and education. I don’t really know what it would take for females in poverty to wake up and realize that they are capable and worth something so they can make a difference. In my opinion I think that some females has been literally brain washed to think that they are supposed to be oppressed by the opposite gender, but that’s my opinion I think that all females should be given the same opportunity no matter what their background is.

  27. Keri Ball February 17, 2016

    The statistics are alarming. The data above reflects similar findings from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics that represent international literacy data. Stats form 2012 reveal that Africa in particular has concerning literacy rates overall when compared to other countries around the world. For females their literacy rates fluctuate to nearly half of the countries females only attaining up to 69% literacy and some parts including Kenya and Uganda as mentioned in the caption above only reaching a literacy rate less than 50%. This is in sharp contrast to other countries and even males in Africa form the same regions. Data is actually pointing to a decline in literacy for many areas in Africa. Overall globally it showed that 87% of female youth had basic literacy skills as compared to 92% of males globally. A closer examination of the data reveals that the areas with lower literacy rates are also areas of high poverty. I thought this was interesting information that confirms what this blog post uncovers. Despite gains in, literacy rates around the world overall there are still 774 million adults that can’t read and two-thirds of them, 493 million, are women. Among youth, 123 million are illiterate and 76 million of those are female.
    See more at: http://www.uis.unesco.org/literacy/pages/data-release-map-2013.aspx#sthash.c6O5oEYv.dpuf

  28. April Brown February 17, 2016

    Prior to viewing this blog post, I had never thought about literacy in terms of how it effects males and females. However, the information provided in the graphic in this post is an eye opener to me as both an educator and mother. It also drives home how important literacy is in the lives of individuals. Although the information in this post is geared towards drawing attention to females who live in poverty and how education affects them, I think it is important to keep in mind that all children, whether male or female, are affected by poverty and lack of education. Like the post says, “Studies—lots of them—have shown that education is one of the best investments to make for children who live in poverty.” Because of the ever changing world in which we live and the demands of this ever changing world, it is important for families and children living in poverty to understand why education is so important. It is important for them to understand that the choices they make in regards to education will have an effect on all future decisions. However, on the other side of that coin, I think it is important for the educators working with families and children living in poverty to understand what obstacles that these families and children are facing on a daily basis in order to be more accommodating to these families and children.

  29. Lequone Banks February 17, 2016

    Being educated sets young girls in a totally different trajectory. The image above was created to quickly provide facts and sting the reader. The facts are real and the sting is real. Sadly, young, impoverished girls are at a major disadvantage than their male counterparts. These girls are expected to take on the role of the woman of the house while they are still children. Preventing them from learning how to read keeps them in the home and procreating. These young girls deserve more. The alarming rate of HIV/AIDS cases is a direct response to young girls not knowing how to advocate for themselves, and not knowing how to read a poster or pamphlet about HIV/AIDS. Yes,it is sad. How long will it take for the ripple to become a wave. I believe there is a need for a tsunami to wash away the ignorance of those who keep the practice going.

  30. Sheena Ware February 16, 2016

    You never really understand the importance of literacy until it is drawn out in black and white, like above. For females, just having primary education decreases the risk of AIDS/HIV by 50%. That means to only stop at 5th grade! What potential there would be if they continued their education? I have heard so many parents complain about their kids having to learn sight words, read so many pages per night, and even complaining about having to read with their children. It’s really sad. Showing information like this really drives home the idea that education (literacy) is the key to success. I understand that not every child is going to love to read, however; having the ability to successful read (independently) will increase their chances of success tremendously.

  31. Megan February 16, 2016

    I love a good infographic! It is such an easy and organized way to present data from studies. As an educator, I think it is so important to be aware of all of the situations children find themselves in all over the world – including those children living in extreme poverty. Every child deserves quality education. “Education is one of the best investments to make for children who live in poverty.” These statistics and facts are hard to read. Only 1 out of 5 girls completes 6th grade – that is only 20% of girls. It makes me curious about that number for males as well. I am not as surprised by the fact that these girls are not completing school but more that they aren’t even making it past 6th grade. The other statistics showing the ripple effect of not completing school are valuable for people to be aware of – marriage statistics and HIV numbers. We need to help families and children living in poverty to fully understand how important schooling is for a child. The amount of schooling, experiences during school, knowledge acquired through school years all effects the future of our children and the future of our world.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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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