Updated: Oct 7, 2020
Women have been striving for equal education opportunities for many years. There have been improvements. Currently, thirty-year-old women have on average spent nine years in school, compared to the 10 years in school thirty-year-old men have spent. However, there are still girls in girls fighting poverty, child marriage, and gender discrimination to go to school. There is still work that needs to be done.
If we can debunk these five myths about education, we can help raise awareness and achieve equal, safe, and quality education for girls around the world.
Myth #1: Investing in girls' education doesn’t pay off.
Truth: The fact is when countries don’t invest in girls’ education it costs them money. The World Bank reports that limited educational opportunities for girls and barriers to completing 12 years of education cost countries between $15 trillion and 30 trillion dollars in lost lifetime productivity and earnings.
Myth# 2: Economic growth doesn’t depend on girls' education level.
Truth: In reality, wage increases are strongly correlated to the educational level women attain. On average, women with secondary school education earn almost twice as much as those with no education at all. A McKinsey Global Institute report states that in a scenario in which women play an identical role in labor markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025.
Myth #3: Teaching girls sex education will lead to more teen pregnancies.
Truth: When women are taught sexual health education family size decreases, the risk of significant health problems reduces, and child mortality rates reduce. UNESCO estimates we could cut childhood deaths in half if all women were to receive a full 12 years of education. Once women have the tools and services to make decisions about their health, they can have healthier children and are more likely to plan and space their pregnancies.
Myth #4: Girls have the same opportunities to complete school work as boys.
Truth: UNICEF reports that girls under 15 years old spend 40%—or 160 million hours—more than boys their age on household chores every day globally. It is important to recognize the time spent on chores can limit girls’ chances to focus on their education, amongst other activities, such as playing or building social networks.
Myth #5: I can’t do anything to help overcome challenges like girls' education.
Truth: Individual action adds up to a significant impact. There are many ways you can help. You can create awareness by sharing this post, educate family and friends, or donate. The compassion of supporters is what enables Women Going Beyond to continue educating girls in Southeast Asia.