Why Africa? Why Women? Why Now?
“When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90% of it into their families, as compared to 30-40% of men.” Phil Borgas
We make a difference at home, and that impact can be significant. By making a difference in Africa, you can help make positive change in the lives of millions.
Why Invest in Women’s Education?
The best investment in Africa is investing in Women as Leaders. This requires an investment in their higher education, as this is where African women can make a difference in the short-term. The namesake of the new Women’s leadership Community Centre at Africa International University, Leah Ngini, says it best: “If you educate a woman, you educate a nation; if you educate a man, you educate a man! We must train our women. Women are the ones who hear the children cry.”
Research from The Ripple Effect:
- When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children. (United Nations Population Fund, State of World Population 1990.)
- An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent. (George Psacharopoulos and Harry Anthony Patrinos, “Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update,” Policy Research Working Paper 2881[Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2002].)
- Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.(George T. Bicego and J. Ties Boerma, “Maternal Education and Child Survival: A Comparative Study of Survey Data from 17 Countries,” Social Science and Medicine 36 (9) [May 1993]: 1207–27.)
- When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man. (Phil Borges, with foreword by Madeleine Albright, Women Empowered: Inspiring Change in the Emerging World [New York: Rizzoli, 2007], 13.)
More and more women are taking the lead, but do to lack of land ownership, many don’t have the resources to invest in their tertiary education. The more we invest, the more impact they will make, and the more women will have a voice against injustices.
- Approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school. (Cynthia B. Lloyd, ed., Growing Up Global: The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Country [Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2005].)
- Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls. (Human Rights Watch, “Promises Broken: An Assessment of Children’s Rights on the 10th Anniversary of the Convention in the Rights of the Child, http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/crp/promises/education.html [December 1999].)
Child Marriage and Early Childbirth
- One girl in seven in developing countries marries before age 15. Girls Count, 41. (Population Council, “Transitions to Adulthood: Child Marriage/Married Adolescents,” http://www.popcouncil.org/ta/mar.html [updated May 13, 2008].)
- 38 percent marry before age 18. Girls Count, 41 (Cynthia B. Lloyd, ed., Growing Up Global: The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries [Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2005].)
- One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in developing countries each year. Girls Count, 3. (United Nations Population Fund, State of World Population 2005, http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2005.)
- In Nicaragua, 45 percent of girls with no schooling are married before age 18 versus only 16 percent of their educated counter parts. In Mozambique, the figures are 60 percent versus 10; in Senegal, 41 percent versus 6. Girls Count, 44. (International Center for Research on Women, Too Young to Wed: Education & Action Toward Ending Child Marriage, http://www.icrw.org/docs/2006_cmtoolkit/cm_all.pdf .)
- A survey in India found that girls who married before age 18 were twice as likely to report being beaten, slapped, or threatened by their husbands as were girls who married later. (International Center for Research on Women, Development Initiative on Supporting Healthy Adolescents , analysis of quantitative baseline survey data collected in select sites in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand, India [survey conducted in 2004].)
- Medical complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 worldwide. Compared with women ages 20 to 24, girls ages 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die from childbirth, and girls 15 to 19 are up to twice as likely, worldwide. (United Nations Children’s Fund, Equality, Development and Peace, http://www.unicef.org/publications/files/pub_equality_en.pdf [New York:UNICEF, 2000], 19.)
- 75 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds living with HIV in Africa are female, up from 62 percent in 2001.Girls Count, 48. (Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, Keeping the Promise: An Agenda for Action on Women and AIDS, http://data.unaids.org/pub/Booklet/2006/20060530_FS_Keeping_Promise_en.pdf.) 2006a. http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/crp/promises/education.html [December 1999].)
Thank you to Girl Effect for the statistics. (www.girleffect.org)