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The article emphasizes on providing education to every eligible girl in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It highlights that a girl who takes birth in South Asia or sub-Saharan Africa has to undergo desperate hardships such as poverty, disease, war or famine. Apart from that, she will also have to confront the disadvantage of being a girl.
There is no culture, country and continent that are destitute of inequality. The root cause of girls not getting education is the cultural norms and economic hardships, which parents face. There is a norm of single-sex schooling in poor Muslim countries like Pakistan, Yemen, and Morocco and in the problem is that rural areas of those countries can afford only one public school that can be set for girls only.
The inequality between girls and boys exist heavily in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and almost all of those countries come under the category of ‘Least Developed Countries’ (LDCs). One way for these countries to head towards economic development is by ‘making educating girls a priority’.
Making separate schools in places where girls and boys are educated separately is one solution. It is believed that by building girls’ schools, the education gap can be eliminated to a great extent.
Policymakers can strengthen the incentives for parents to send their daughters to school by setting the no-fee policy. However, in economics, nothing is for free. There is always someone or something that pays for it. A no-fee policy may be brought about by taking a portion of the people’s taxes. Another thing the policymakers can do is provide stipend for girls who enroll in girls’ school. This would surely increase the girls’ enrolment rate as the graph below indicates that the fall in fees from ‘f’ to ‘f1’ will lead to an increase in the enrolment rate from ‘e’ to ‘e1’.
Providing every eligible girl in South Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa would contribute towards the country’s development because major studies of growth conclude that improved knowledge, higher efficiency, and better education play a vital role in the functioning and productivity of an economy. The World Bank has pointed towards human development which they believe better education, and family planning can promote development as effectively as capital investment in physical plant.
As the article states that 99% of the 529,000 women who die annually from pregnancy related hurdles come from developing countries and the reason for that is the lack of education for women in those countries. Uneducated women do not know the severe malnutrition and prenatal care during pregnancy which puts both the child and the mother at serious risk.
Expenditure on human capital – better educated, health, and nutrition – tends to reduce birth-rates and infant mortality. The women will be educated and will be able to effectively take part in family planning as she will be aware of the consequences. Having a controlled population means a positive result in the GNP per capita which is the result of subtracting the population growth rate from the GNP growth rate.
Educating the girls will privilege them to be able to raise their child effectively in a civilized manner. Educated women will be aware of dangers such as HIV/AIDS, poor sanitary habits and poor dietary habits. So basically they will be aware of the environment around them and above all they will know their rights and therefore fully stand up for themselves.
So, educating the girls would not only benefit themselves but the society as a whole as well. So education helps the overall population and on a larger scales the whole world. Apart from giving a country an efficient work force, education makes the individual able to read, write, and communicate. When the people in a society are capable to bring forth their views, opinions and debates, it brings a social change and the changing attitudes of people may achieve a number of developmental aims.
Providing education to the girls would also add to the country’s labor force which would definitely lead to an increase in economic growth. Therefore an economic development would shift the country’s Production Possibility Frontier (PPF) curve to the right as shown in the graphs below.
In my opinion, I would say that providing education to girls in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa by building single-sex schools is a much appreciated step because of the numerous benefits it will contribute to the world. However it has to be taken into consideration that in some parts of the world providing co-education is unacceptable for example the northern areas of Pakistan. Therefore single-sex education will be a much better choice as it will be acceptable and also appreciated. However, single sex education is said to be not as beneficial as the co-education because in co-education pupils of both gender get to interact with each other and learn much more than they can in single education. But single sex education will be the only choice that can be perused in areas where co-education is not allowed.
Although building single-sex schools will have an opportunity cost as the government will have to sacrifice something in order to afford the cost of building schools, but I would say it is all worth it. When the girls of a country are educated they will definitely add to the country’s work force and educating girls means educated women in the country which means that they will know how to properly raise their children and nurture them. There are many benefits which the country will have from providing education to the girl.
There are short term benefits as well as long term benefits. More emphasis will be on the long term benefits as you know that it will take time before the women of the country will all be educated and it will take time to have an impact of providing education to girls on country’s women literacy rate. I also found the idea proposed in the article by the policymakers about handing the money to the mother of the school-going girl, instead the men. Handing the money to the women is a very effective and well-thought idea as mothers are more concerned about their children’s health and nutrition.