Last week, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, girls and their educational needs received some well-deserved attention. UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown recommended that an independent fund for the advancement of education be created, giving girls a better chance to access education.
Right on, prime minister. The number of elementary-aged girls out of school in South Asia and Africa is approximately 35 million. This number has decreased significantly in the past 15 years, but imagine what the world could be like if those 35 million girls were able to go to school?
For a girl to face the world and succeed, education is essential. In addition to the overall benefits of education — brainpower, emancipation, self-respect, the opportunity for significantly more income and the ability to advocate for herself, teach her family what she has learned and become a change-maker in her community — there are also more lesser known advantages to education.