Why Girls?

Why Girls?

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In countries throughout Central America, children are only required to attend six years of school. After that, school is available if you have the means to buy uniforms, books and supplies and the ability to get to a school, often located in the major cities. For many children, it might take up to 10 years or more to complete their 6th grade education because they are so poor.

In many villages throughout Central America, girls are kept out of school in order to work for the family, to allow their brothers to get an education, or because they have become pregnant at an early age, continuing a cycle of poverty from generation to generation.

Because of statistics like these, girls have an obvious disadvantage growing up. However, it is often the women in the community who drive commerce, lead their families and ensure their children are attending classes.

In order to make a significant impact on a community, it’s critical that girls have an opportunity to finish their education. Research has shown that educated women are more likely to ensure their family continues their education, have a lower pregnancy rate, and higher incomes. Where nearly 25% of the population lives on less than $1 per day, every year of additional education beyond the 6th grade equals a 10-15% increase in additional income.*

 

* George Psacharopoulos and Harry Anthony Patrinos, “Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update,” Policy Research Working Paper 2881 [Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2002]