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Girls' Education Case Study_Hopkins_Sp2014

Girls' Education Case Study_Hopkins_Sp2014

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Case study for doctoral program in education
Case study for doctoral program in education

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Published by: Fred Mednick, Founder on Feb 17, 2014
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Girls’ Education and the Mil
lennium Development Goals: Challenges for Non-Governmental Organizations 
Doctoral Case Study 855.716: Contemporary Approaches To Educational Problems Dr. Fred Mednick Spring 2014
Photo Credit: 10x10 and Girl Rising
 
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Girls’ Education Case Study
 
Girls’ education is front
-page news. Malala Yousafzai, the sixteen-year-old Pakistani girl shot by
the Taliban for her efforts both to attend school and advocate for girls’ education, recently
addressed the United Nations General Assembly and was nominated for a 2013 Nobel Peace Prize (Yousafzai, July 12, 2013).
Global agencies, advocacy groups, and feature films such as ―Girl Rising‖ and ―Half the Sky,‖ have popularized a correlation between the advancement of girls’
 education and overall global development (Lomoy, J. 2010; Bhatt, E. 2011).
 
Adopted formally by 189 member states and 23 international organizations in September 2000, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) enlist governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and global agencies to accomplish targets established in 8 broad categories: (1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (2) achieve universal primary education (3) promote gender equality and empower women (4) reduce child mortality (5) improve maternal health (6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases (7) ensure environmental sustainability, and (8) build global  partnerships for development (UN-MDG Report, 2013).
 
The United Nations claims that the MDGs catalyzed unprecedented  progress and dramatic results (Heyzer, 2005). Secretary General Ban Ki
Moon’s 2013 report
asserts substantial gains: (1) the number of those living in extreme poverty has been halved (2) the goals for reliable access to clean drinking water have been met (3) the aggregate figure for gender equality in primary schools is on par with those of boys (Ban, K, 2012). Efforts to stem malnutrition, remove barriers to school enrollment, curtail unsanitary conditions leading to child mortality, and combat malaria and tuberculosis have been equally impressive (Lewis, M. & Lockheed, M. 2007). Rapid advances in technology, particularly in telephony, networks, and Internet access, have resulted in dramatic changes in e-government, education, and entrepreneurial activity (Cisco, 2008). Today, from all corners of the globe, communities expect information to be accessible, available, and affordable so that they may  participate in a globally interconnected economy (World Bank, 2008). The United Nations recognizes the corr 
elation between girls’ education and overall social and
economic development (Hannum, E., Buchmann, C. 2005), particularly MDG 3
 – 
 to promote gender equality and empower women; An educated mother is 50% more likely to immunize her child than a mother without an education (UNESCO, 2012). With an extra year of education, a girl can earn up to 20% more as an adult and often reinvest 90% of her income into her family.
 
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(Save the Children, 2005). Children born to literate mothers are far more likely to survive past
the age of 5 (Hogan, 2010). Over the past 40 years, women’s education has prevented more than
4 million child deaths (Veneman, 2007). As the 2015 MDG expiration date approaches, a vigorous and contentious post-2015 debate is well underway, particularly in regard to the education of girls.
 
Millennium Development Goal Challenges
Despite claims of having inspired dramatic advances in human welfare, the MDGs face substantial criticism as an aspirational, unenforceable, one-size-fits-all approach to major global issues, designed by rich countries as a marketing ploy (Pogge, 2012) to expand markets or exert  political influence (Easterly, 2006). Significant concern has been raised about faulty evaluation design; data collection, validity, and relia
 bility; and monitoring capacity (Maren, 2002). Women’s
organizations and marginalized communities claim that the MDGs have not included them at the negotiation table. Critics argue that the MDGs have committed egregious sins of omission that cut across a wide range of international development and policy issues, by failing to include declarations and conventions introduced since the MDGs began (
USAID, 2012
). Others decry a lack of usable and enforceable frameworks for the protection of human rights, particularly those of women, beyond a fleeting, tokenistic, or rhetorical embrace (UNGEI, 2012). Without the inclusion of such issues (most notably targets for food security, internet access, peace, and justice), the MDGs are dismissed as hollow and ephemeral. The criticism is not limited to structural or political issues. The MDGs themselves have come under intense scrutiny.
Halving poverty has been viewed as ―woef 
ully under ambitious
‖ (Barton,
2005). Most poor countries will not meet MDG targets (Annan, 2010). The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) reports that (1) in 47 out of 54 African countries, girls have less than a 50% chance of completing primary school, and (2) in the least developed countries overall, more than a third of young women, 15-24 years old, cannot read (GCE, 2013; OECD, 2010). In several regions of sub-Saharan Africa, the number of mobile phones outstrips the number of latrines or flush toilets (Cohen, 2010). As the MDG debate continues, proponents and critics agree that the education of girls is of  paramount importance in global efforts to address global problems, particularly in the area of education access and equity, public health, and education in emergencies (Turquet, Watt, & Sharman, 2007).
 

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