Adolescence stage in a girl’s life is extremely critical to her future. In so many place and part of rural Benin (West-Africa), many families feel they cannot afford to lose the effort their daughters provide to the household by sending them to school.
However, evidence suggests that educating adolescent girls is one of the most effective ways to advance development goals in any country. Drop-off rates in schools increase significantly when girls are subject to norms that limit their social roles and choices. Advancing girls education in Benin and throughout the world begins with building their self-esteem.
Remarkable progresses have been made in Benin about adolescence girls’ enrollment in primary education. But, fewer than 1 in 10 girls graduates from secondary school.
1. Girls who attend school as adolescents marry later, have children later and have lower rates of disease.
2. Each extra year of a mother’s secondary schooling reduces the probability of infant mortality by 5–10 percent.
3. Girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to be married as children.
4. When a girl in the developing world receives seven years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
5. A child born to a mother who can read is 50 percent more likely to live past age 5.
Given these and the others facts you may have already learn about girl education in Africa, we can agree that the education of girls and women affects directly their health and prosperity.
My challenge is simple — How will you be part of the change?