Being able to read this piece means that you have had at least access to basic education. You must also have access to a computer which indicates a higher rate of education. Even to be reading an article that deals with the importance of education highlights the need to provide education to girls in developing countries as a means to combat early marriage and to create empowerment for those who could see their future laid out for them at the age of three. In Afghanistan, the literacy level of girls is only 18% while there are on average two people per hundred with access to computers.
A particular discussion at the recent Women in the World conference dealt with the issue of the importance of educating girls in the developing world as well as the difficulty of this. The many participants included Queen Rania of Jordan who is herself dedicated to the education of girls; Katie Couric, a female journalistic forerunner and Kathy Bushkin Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation which aims to, amongst other objectives, to invest in adolescent girls by providing access to education. Kakenya Ntaiya was betrothed at the age of five, but convinced her village elders to allow her access to education. Now studying for a PhD, she has concurrently opened Kakenya centres for excellence. Her mission statement for this is simple and profound, “I had a dream where all the girls in my village could go to school.”
Growing up in western society, a basic education is taken so much for granted, it is the norm to talk hating school; to hate getting up in the morning and to hate learning. Receiving an education is so engrained in our society that not to go is punishable. To be able to enjoy going to school; to be able to talk about going to school; to be able to read and write is a privilege that is often lost on those who receive it, and not given to those who crave it.
-Julie Anne Young
Girl Museum Inc.