By: SaraMari Grey-Johnson
Country: South Africa
School: St. Mary’s Waverley
Women make up more than two-thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate population. According to www.globalpartnerships.org , in Africa, 52 million girls receive 0 forms of education and 4 million girls have no chance of stepping into a classroom compared to 2 million boys.
The main reasons why girls receive no education are because of poverty or cultural traditions and rules. It is disappointing that some girls around the world do not have the opportunity to have a basic education and thus achieve their goals or dreams to become somebody. I remember my first day of school, I was so excited to go and learn new things. Through the years, I’ve learnt so many things, made new friends, and discovered myself in so many different ways. It is unfair that some girls around the world won’t be able to go through this experience, particularly when cultural beliefs prohibit them from doing so. Cultural beliefs that hold them back and force them into marriage at a young age or staying at home to learn how to cook instead of how to read. I believe that having a generation of uneducated girls is a major problem and I realize how fortunate I am to have been given an education.
A lack of education for young girls can cause damage to their future in many ways. For example, a lack of education can alter your perception of self-worth. Many girls who don’t have an education to fall back on limit their dreams to becoming a sugar baby or a housewife. They may also resort to selling their bodies on social media or to other people. They become focused on how they look, rather than how they can contribute to the world in a positive, impactful way. The education I’ve been given has taught me never to depend on a man and most importantly, treasure my body, know my worth and value.
So why is it so important to educate girls? I believe that women are more than just beauty and body. We are intelligent, committed, inspiring, and deserve a chance. We have more than just pretty eyes, we have minds too. When you educate a woman, it’s like you are educating a whole community or village. When a woman learns how to read and write, she can make a huge difference in the world. Women are recently starting to be included in the job market, which should have happened a long time ago. Women bring diversity to the workforce – when different minds come together, the outcome is nothing short of amazing. Women should be congratulated for all the amazing ways they have contributed to the world. Wangari Maathai, Greta Thunberg, Mother Theresa, Oprah Winfrey are only a few names of women who have brought positive change in the world. It’s time to educate girls all over the world, so that they can continue to do the same.