When a girl’s education is cut short, the impact can be felt for generations and it leaves a vital gap in their community, country and the world, according to the UN and its agencies.
The Un organisations pointed out that the need for girls to remain in school for longer was clear and urgent. Education helped in reducing the rates of child marriage, teenage pregnancy, maternal/infant mortality and also leads to improvements in child health.
The world bodies said that educated mothers are more likely to seek help when a child is ill and have their children vaccinated. The educated women are better equipped to protect their children from all kinds of threats. Moreover, women having a secondary education are more likely to ensure that their own children go to school.
UNESCO estimated that educated mothers could prevent 3.5 million child deaths between 2050 and 2060. Child marriages would come down by almost two thirds if all girls had secondary education. It said that 59 per cent fewer girls would become pregnant in sub-Saharan Africa and south and west Asia, which are among the top hosting regions for refugees.
Fewer than eight refugee girls for every ten refugee boys go to primary school. In the secondary level, it is worse with less than seven refugee girls when compared to ten refugee boys. The UN bodies also mentioned that a lot of difference may be seen in populations where girls face a lot of cultural barriers.
The reports point out that 47 per cent of Afghan boys are enrolled at primary school in Pakistan whereas only 23 per cent of girls are enrolled. “Dropout rates among Afghan refugee girls are high – 90 per cent in some areas. As a result, the literacy rate for refugee girls and women in Pakistan is less than eight per cent. This, in turn, means there are fewer female teachers who might encourage more girls to attend school, making it increasingly difficult with each generation to break the cycle<” they said.