Fail­ure to ed­u­cate girls could cost world $30 tril­lion - re­port

Stabroek News - - WORLD NEWS -

NEW YORK, (Thomson Reuters Foun­da­tion) - Fail­ing to let girls fin­ish their ed­u­ca­tion could cost the world as much as $30 tril­lion in lost earn­ings and pro­duc­tiv­ity, yet more than 130 mil­lion girls are out of school glob­ally, the World Bank said on Wed­nes­day.

Women who have com­pleted sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion are more likely to work and earn on av­er­age nearly twice as much as those with no school­ing, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the World Bank.

About 132 mil­lion girls world­wide aged 6 to 17 do not at­tend school, while fewer than two-thirds of those in low­in­come na­tions fin­ish pri­mary school, and only a third fin­ish lower sec­ondary school, the World Bank said. If ev­ery girl in the world fin­ished 12 years of qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, lifetime earn­ings for women could in­crease by $15 tril­lion to $30 tril­lion, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

“Over­all, the mes­sage is clear: ed­u­cat­ing girls is not only the right thing to do,” the World Bank said in the re­port.

“It also makes eco­nomic and strate­gic sense for coun­tries to ful­fill their de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial.” Other pos­i­tive im­pacts of com­plet­ing sec­ondary school ed­u­ca­tion for girls in­clude a re­duc­tion in child mar­riage, lower fer­til­ity rates in coun­tries with high pop­u­la­tion growth, and re­duced child mor­tal­ity and mal­nu­tri­tion, the World Bank said.

“We can­not keep let­ting gen­der in­equal­ity get in the way of global progress,” Kristalina Ge­orgieva, World Bank chief ex­ec­u­tive, said in a state­ment.

The ben­e­fits of ed­u­cat­ing girls are con­sid­er­ably higher at sec­ondary school level in com­par­i­son to pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion, said Quentin Wodon, World Bank lead econ­o­mist and main re­port au­thor.

“While we do need to in­sure that of course all girls com­plete pri­mary school, that is not enough,” Wodon told the Thomson Reuters Foun­da­tion.

Women who have com­pleted sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion are at lesser risk of suf­fer­ing vi­o­lence at the hands of their part­ners and have chil­dren who are less likely to be mal­nour­ished and them­selves are more likely to go to school, the re­port said.

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