"When women are educated they are part of the resources of the country, they also help to contribute to the economy and the advantages are many" Malala
A recent World Bank report entitled "Missed Opportunities: The High Cost of Not Educating Girls" explains that not educating girls has negative consequences for a country. "The low educational rates of girls have potential negative impacts on a wide range of other development outcomes not only for the girls themselves, but also for their children, families, communities and societies", the report explains. This is due to the fact that, according to the World Bank, worldwide there are losses between 15 million and 30 billion dollars, as a result of the low educational level of this population.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the lack of education in both boys and girls is a worrisome situation. According to Unicef, although this region "has progressed in the increase of enrollment in pre-school, primary and secondary education in recent decades, (...) there are still gaps in access and the completion of education, since 14 million children and adolescents between 7 and 18 years of age are outside the education system".
"The percentage of children and adolescents who do not attend school in the first years of secondary education in Latin America and the Caribbean is 7.7%, almost 4 times more than in developed countries (2.1%)", explains the organism. However, while both the lack of education of boys and girls is detrimental, "not educating girls is especially costly because of the relationship between education, child marriage and early motherhood, and the risks that this poses for girls, young mothers, and their children", says the World Bank.
According to the BBC, a study conducted by the One Campaign revealed that in this region the countries with the worst education for girls are Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, and Bolivia. In Brazil, for example, 1.5 million women do not have access to this right, as activist Malala Yousafzai explained in her visit to Brazil in 2018. In Guatemala, "over 15 years of age has an average of 6.5 years In the metropolitan area, the educational average is 8 years, in contrast to the rural area that only has an average of 4 years of schooling, indigenous women have only 3 years, non-indigenous women with 5.3 years" says UN women.
However, girls represent a considerable percentage of the population of this region, so the lack of education is an alarming problem. In a report of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) it is explained that "the child and adolescent population represents 34.5% of the total population of Latin America and the Caribbean. The incidence of the population composed of girls and adolescents in the total number of women in the region reaches 35%. "That is why every day we are fighting for this population to have access to this basic right, because it not only brings benefits to the economy of a nation; it also brings well-being to the person.
On the one hand, this is because women who receive education are less likely to marry at an early age and have fewer children. In addition, these women "will be more likely to survive and be better nourished and educated." On the other hand, "educated women are more productive at home and better paid in the workplace, and better able to participate in social, economic and political decision making," says the United Nations. That is why activists like Malala Yousafzai fight for the rights that girls can receive education.
"When women are educated they are part of the resources of the country, they also help to contribute to the economy and the advantages are many. It is good to keep reminding our leaders, our politicians, that this is not just to educate an individual girl but it is also a long-term benefit to society. So, we have to invest in the education of girls," said Malala in one of her messages at a conference held in San Diego in 2018, according to América Economía. That is why the countries of Latin America have to start creating much more efficient policies so that this population has the possibility of accessing education and thus be able to generate a positive change both for these societies, and for each individual that is part of this population.
LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal
Translated from “¡Es perjudicial! La falta de educación de las niñas produce impactos negativos”