Living in the US I have a unique opportunity to education that many other women and girls around the world do not. The UN and many others around the world have long recognized the importance of educating women and girls. Secretary Ban Ki Moon said, ““Education sends a message – a message of confidence and hope. It tells that child; you have a future; what you think matters.” Which is true. When you teach someone to think, it makes a huge difference. That’s why they started the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education. It is going to focus on literacy (a key skill for life) and secondary education. Like I have said before, not everything the UN does is good or perfect, but girls do need to be educated. They need to learn how to read and write, most importantly, because being literate can go a long way to improving your status in the world. While there are many people in general around the world who can’t read, women make up a disproportionate amount of those because they are often not allowed to go to school or have to stay home to help with things in the domestic sphere. Even when they do go to school, they usually stay fewer years than their male counterparts because their families don’t value educating them and they don’t see the need.
I have to be honest, there is one thing about this that bothers me. The fact that he talks about how education women and girls are reducing fertility as a good thing is what bothers me. First of all, because of the implication that when women are educated, they won’t want to have as many children (even though I, myself, want to have four children someday if God blesses us with them and I consider myself pretty educated and know others who are also educated who want large families). Second, because it’s paraded as a good thing, even though much of the world is in a fertility decline or very close to one. So there’s some good and some bad, like most things.