Imagine arriving at an important event, but as you make your way up the stairs, someone slams the door in your face, denying you entry onto the main stage. Their only reason for keeping you out is that, you are a girl. That would be ridiculous right? You wouldn’t stand for it, would you?
What if I told you that this is happening to girls every single day? What if I told you that the privilege of education is denied to millions of girls because of their gender? 130 million girls ages 6-17 will never enter a classroom. 65 million of these are in developing countries. One third of the girls in developing countries are married before the age of 18; 1 in 9 will be married before 15. Recently, I met a young woman whose sister was married off to a man more than seven times her age. The little girl was only 8 years old; she had no choice, and no voice, a tiny pawn in a huge, harsh and bewildering world. In exchange for his young daughter’s hand, her father received two scrawny cows as bride price. And while we go about our day today, 39000 girls will be forced into early marriages around the world. The world will never know their potential; the world will never know what they could have been; the world will never know how brightly their star might have shined.
The lack of education perpetuates the cycle of poverty, but we can do something about it. We can change outcomes for young girls, one child at a time. Together we can make sure that the door to education remains open, so young girls have the opportunity to get onto that stage.
Did you know that:
· Girls with eight years of education, are four times less likely to marry as children.
· A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult.
· A child born to a mother who can read and write is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5.
· Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their children to school.
Join Esther’s Hope Ministries, INC. in making a difference.