This week’s blog is written by Yuan Wang, a intern for Kids Club Kampala from the University of Sheffield. Yuan blogs about the importance of investing in girl’s education and why she is studying this issue further in her dissertation - Take it away Yuan:
In Uganda, 3 out of every 4 girls will not finish primary school because of poverty, and 4 out of every 10 girls will be married by the time they are 18. Girls who do not have access to education may be forced to get married young or some of them may turn to child labour or prostitution. Girls’ education therefore has an important influence on social development as it has benefits for individuals, families, and society. The main obstacles that prevent girls from achieving their educational goals include social, economic, family and cultural factors. The problem of gender inequality and prejudices also persist in Ugandan society, as girls are often born and raised with a mindset of being married and becoming a good wife and mother one day. Studies have shown that the higher the level of education that a woman attains, the lower the chances of her facing violent-related acts. Educating women to higher levels can enable them to gain essential skills that they can use to earn a living or start a business. Those women who are educated tend to earn higher salaries than unskilled workers. Thus, by educating the girls, it entitles them to higher pay and they are able to meet their basic needs.
A significant number of girls get married at an early age in exchange for financial gains or dowry. However, if girls are allowed to study, they will complete their education when they have finished secondary school at around eighteen years, during which she will be considered as an adult. Therefore, going to school can reduce cases of early or forced marriages. In addition, girls who stay in school are likely to learn more about sex education and the consequences of engaging in unprotected sex, in order to reduce early pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Studies have also shown that the higher the level of education that a woman attains, the lower the chances of her facing violent-related acts.
Educating girls can be a useful tool for poverty eradication and improving the living standards of the society. Education helps women to acquire important life skills as well as professional skills so that they can survive independently. For those girls who come from poor families, getting an education is a way to have a brighter future. Those girls may have chances to be educated through sponsorship programs to achieve their academic goals and earn a hope for their future.
Kids Club Kampala helps to keep girls in school through School Sponsorship Programmes. We need your help to give more girls the chance to get educated which will help them to break the vicious cycle of poverty.