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.