Securing Access to Education
Education is a basic right and one of the keys to breaking the cycle of poverty in both the developing and the developed world. Women and girls make up 70 percent of those living in absolute poverty. When women gain an education they increase their chances of participating in the labor market, improving the health and well-being of their children, increasing financial literacy, and participating in the political system.
- Women make up two-thirds of the almost 960 million illiterate adults worldwide.
- 2/3 of children denied access to a primary education are girls.
- 9 out of 10 girls in the world are enrolled in primary education.
- According to the World Bank, an extra year of schooling can increase a girl’s future wages by 10 to 20%.
- Only 37% of countries have achieved gender parity in secondary education.
- Increasing the share of women with a secondary education by 1% boosts the annual per capita income of a country by 0.3 percentage points according to the World Bank.
- Women earn 60% of university degrees in the United States and Europe.
- By 2011 there will be 2.6 million more women than men studying in American universities.
- Women make up only 30% of business school students. This percentage has remained the same since the late 1980s.
Education is one of the primary methods to lift a population out of poverty towards prosperity and stability. Creating more effective policies to increase education for girls will not only save money in the long run, but add significant human capital to the economy. Therefore there is a need for
- Greater focus towards eradicating illiteracy especially for women living in less-advantaged communities.
- Allocating sufficient resources for educational programs and the implementation of educational reforms in all states.
- Access to and equality in education at all levels (primary, secondary, higher, and continuing) as well as in vocational training.
- Providing a safe and secure educational environment for all women.
- Developing non-discriminatory, unbiased curricula and teacher training programs.
- UNIFEM's Progress of the World's Women 2008/2009: Who Answers to Women? Gender & Accountability, September 2008
- The Plan's Because I'm a Girl: the State of the World's Girls 2009
- The Economist's Women in the Workforce, Female Power
- Anne Fisher's Why Don't More Women Get MBA's
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics' Gender Parity in Education, Not there yet March 2008
Click for a pop-up list of Women's Funding Network members that fund programs to improve education. This list will be updated periodically. If your women's fund is currently funding grantees working on education, e-mail us to be added to this list.