Educating girls, the way to achieve SDGs in India
Numerous issues like child marriage, sexual abuse, lack of healthcare products, and responsibility for household chores are preventing the girls from...
Numerous issues like child marriage, sexual abuse, lack of healthcare products, and responsibility for household chores are preventing the girls from fulfilling their right to education in India. For many girls and young women in India, going to school is merely a dream.
Some stigmas are attached to the education of women and girls, as a result, there is huge untapped human potential and gender inequality persists and the country has trapped in a complex web of economic paralysis, poverty, poor health, and gender-based violence.
Therefore, education is important for girls in India to achieve gender equality and that acts as a catalyst for change in the lives of women, families, communities.The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are said to be the key for achieving one SDG-Gender Equality that will involve tackling issues associated with another. Educating girls and promoting gender equality is critical for the India to deliver on all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The U N Women's report 'Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality', revealed that better and prolonged education can bring down high rates of illiteracy, sexual abuse and early marriage among girls. This also supported by the latest data on how educating girls is essential to achieve all the SDGs.
According to the World Bank report, for every extra year of primary education, a girl's individual wage rate increases an average of 10–20% and 25% with an extra year of secondary school. Furthermore, about 90% of a mother's wage goes towards caring for her family, thus lifting a household out of poverty and hunger.
If all women had a primary education, there would be 15% fewer child deaths. If all women had a secondary education, child deaths would be cut in half, saving almost 3 million lives across the globe particularly in India, according to UNESCO study.
If all women had a primary education, 1.7 million children would be saved from malnutrition and 12 million if all mothers obtained a secondary education. If all mothers completed a primary education, maternal deaths would decrease by 60%, saving approximately 98,000 lives. In India, if all women completed primary education alone, maternal deaths would be reduced by 70%, saving 50,000 lives.Women and girls with at least 6 years of school are more likely to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
Gender inequality is reflected in many ways, including income disparity, wage discrimination, gender norms and gender-based violence. About 15 million primary-school age girls don't learn to read or write in school; 15 million girls between the ages of 15 and 19 have been forced sexually; and 750 million women were married before they turned 18.
Girls are different from boys in their level of vulnerability to sexual exploitation, especially in the context of rural poverty, where girls were pressured to have transactional sex to raise money for food and school going costs can result in life threatening infections, early pregnancy, the life threatening complications are resulting from early marriage, and domestic violence.
By advancing girls' education, girls are more likely to realize their potential, exercise their human rights and contribute to society. Educated girls will make significant advances toward bridging the gender gap.
According to the World Bank's study, every 1% increase in the number of women with a secondary education yields an increase of 0.3 percentage points in the country's annual per capita income growth rate. If India had a 1% increase in girls in secondary school, their GDP would increase by $5.5 billion. Additionally, women with an education are more likely to work, create economic growth and develop their communities.
Women have lower opportunities and lower rates of entrepreneurship and innovation compared to men. Educating girls can create an environment that encourages innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. Furthermore, educating girls in STEM subjects also increases sustainable industries, and investing in scientific research helps to facilitate sustainable development.
Educating the girls enable to build and maintain clean energy infrastructures, show greater concern about the well-being of the environment, use water more efficiently and recycle. By nature, women and girls are among the most vulnerable to climate change. Providing girls with relevant education on disasters in a school environment can increase their knowledge of responding to climate change while contributing to sustainable development in their communities.
If girls are educated they can access information about climate change and can play significant role in reducing consumption. They can also contribute to the resilience of their families and communities.
Furthermore, as girls' prospects improve through education, they can support the family economically. By doing so, they could help make families more resilient to climate change.
By increasing opportunities for girls in SETM education, they will get more educated in environment and more likely to be innovative and advance new ideas such as reliable modern energy services. Educated girls are more likely to learn about hygiene and improved water sanitation through schools or other programs.
Women and girls who receive an education are more likely to seek justice and tackle discrimination such as gender-based violence or other injustices as they are more aware of their rights. It is also known that literate people are more likely to participate in the democratic process.
Children who receive a secondary education are more likely to show tolerance than primary education only towards people speak another language, immigrants, homosexuals, people of a different religion and race. Furthermore, if the enrolment rate for secondary school is increased by 10%, the risk of war is decreased by 3%.
Therefore, it is need of the hour to raise awareness among the people that girls' education must be raised in India urgently.For as long as girls and women are prevented from achieving their full potential, the country is only taking steps backwards. Through cooperation and partnerships we can achieve gender equality through education, and in turn, deliver the SDGs.