Test Your Knowledge!
On this page, you’ll find all sorts of facts about education worldwide. This YouTube video, Global Equality Now! The Game, is a trivia game you can play to test how well you know those facts. You can play before reading on, or play it later to see what you’ve learned!
- Primary school is not free in Mali and 100 other countries.
- Parents are too poor to send all their children to school.
- Girls are expected to be married rather than educated.
- Girls in many countries are viewed as property and even slaves.
Poverty, AIDS, Hunger, War, Sexism…It’s all the same problem–the lack of education for girls in the developing world. These problems affect everyone because we live on the same one planet! More…
“Educate a boy, educate one person. Educate a girl, she will change the world.”
~ African proverb
Injustice in Africa
This West African country, whose famous city of Timbuktu, was once the literary center of the world, is now identified bv UNICEF as one of the 25 countries with the highest proportion of girls not in school. Only 17 out of 100 females can read. More than half its girls enrolled do not graduate from elementary school. Over half of girls–65%–become child brides before the legal age of 18.
“I have this privilege to go to university. I fight so that all my sisters are able to go to school, not only in Mali but throughout the world. Our country does not have one free school and it’s one of the poorest countries.”
Go to ACT to watch videos and we have lots of facts in our free e-book, “Girls Gone Activist! How to Change the World through Education”
Here’s a typical day for Miriam who lives in Mali, one of the poorest countries. She is about 10 years old (like so many others, she only knows what year she was born—not her actual birthday).
- Miriam wakes up before dawn. She spends the next hour walking to the river to bring back water and collecting firewood.
- Next she helps cook porridge for breakfast for the whole family and then washes the pans and sweeps.
- After her chores, Miriam walks to school. She is very careful not to lose her one pencil and one bic pen as well as her composition book.
- This year there are desks in her classroom, not just benches. There is only a blackboard, no textbooks. It’s crowded—often 40 other students. It can get very hot in Mali. Miriam wishes there was a well at the school so she could get some water. Also, she would like separate latrines for girls and boys.
- Miriam has hopes for a bright future. She loves learning and dreams of becoming a teacher or a doctor!
Miriam really wants to stay in school. She is lucky because even though her parents are very poor, they pay the school fees to send her and her brothers to school.
Most girls in Mali do not graduate from elementary school. Only 11 out of 100 will start high school and only 2% of girls will go to university. So many girls become child brides even though the legal age is 18. Their husbands are much older and marriage means chores and motherhood and no school.
“The future of the world depends on an educated society—especially girls.” ~ Bintou
Young School Girls in Mali
School Girls Unite produced this video that reveals the most basic needs of millions of girls in Mali.
Our Child Marriage Prevention Video
School Girls Unite produced this video petition and showed it to congressional staff which resulted in two Senators and one U.S. Representative to agree to officially co-sponsor the “Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage” legislation.
Why Educating Girls is the Key to Saving the World!
Here are just a dozen reasons…
- A girl with an elementary school education will earn twice as much as an adult without any schooling.
- A girl with basic education can help adults who cannot read understand how to prevent malaria and other diseases or do the math to figure out the cost of buying fertilizer to make more food.
- Education drastically reduces child marriage. A girl with 7 years of education will marry 4 years later and have 2.2 fewer children.
- Knowledge and skills learned at school will be passed onto her parents and the community.
- Children of educated mothers are more likely to be healthy and go to school.
- Education means better jobs. Knowing math can help start a business. Getting through high school and university means more teachers, engineers, doctors, etc.
- Education is essential for a strong economy. Every year of school raises wages 10-20%.
- Education allows a woman to respect herself and to be respected by others!
- Education introduces new ways of thinking about traditions and issues and this knowledge equals power.
- Education produces intelligent leaders and more women are needed to solve global problems.
- As more women–who represent half the population–gain education they will be able to participate equally with men in making decisions about policies and laws.
We really think the short video, GirlEffect.org, shows why educating every girl will save the world!
“If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice.
If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees.
If your plan is for 100 years, educate children…especially girls.*”
~ Confucius and School Girls Unite*