Education: Key to Success
The links among education and economic growth, income distribution and poverty reduction are well established. Education lowers infant and maternal mortality and helps improve nutrition and health.1 It equips people with the knowledge and skills they need to increase income and expand opportunities for employment. The benefits show in personal lives, household well‐being and national economies.2
Over the past 15 years, most countries have sought ways to increase girls' education rates as integral to effective population and development programmes. Governments in general now understand that girls who are denied education will rely on childbearing as a major source of security and status as women. They will marry early, raise less healthy families, and contribute less to economic growth.
To raise the status of women, governments have made primary education more accessible to all children. Nearly as many girls as boys now enter primary school, an impressive achievement. However, the world is not yet on course for achieving universal primary education: far fewer girls than boys complete that primary school or continue to secondary or university schooling.
> Of the world's 776 million illiterate adults, two‐thirds are women.3 > Faced with a lack of girl‐friendly facilities (such as private sanitary facilities and protection from sexual harassment), many parents withdraw their daughters from school when they reach adolescence. > Fully 75 million children of primary school age are not in school, including a third of the relevant age group in sub‐Saharan Africa. 4 > At least 29 million children will still be out of school in 2015. This is probably understated: it does not include countries in conflict such as Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Millions more will start classes but ...