Why educating girls is the best thing we can do for the world
Did you know that educating girls is one of the best ways to not only end poverty but take positive action on climate change?
But every day 130 million girls around the world don't attend school.
Often families prioritise sons over daughters when money is tight. Or in many cases, girls are married off and become mothers. But all too commonly, young girls drop out of school simply because of the stigma around her period and she has nothing to manage it with.
Periods are keeping girls out of school
As I'm writing this I'm riding the cotton unicorn (aka tampon), something I have come to understand is a wonderful luxury not afforded to all women and girls.
Around the world, some girls can't afford to buy menstrual products, forcing them to use rags or leaves or whatever they can find. A lot of girls miss school for this reason.
Period-stigma is still very real and isolates girls and women.
Recently a college in India forced 68 female students to be stripped searched to check if they have their periods because they're forbidden from entering temples, the kitchen or touching other students.
And in Nepal a woman died in 2019 while in a period hut. A practice outlawed but still occurring in some poorer areas.
Let's just reflect on just how bloody ridiculous this is in 2020!!!
Education is the key to a better world
Okay, back to the good news.
Women are going to save the world and now there's data to back it up. The Drawdown Project provides a roadmap for how to tackle climate change, ranking the solutions in order of effectiveness.
Guess what number one is?
Girls education and family planning!
When a girl is educated, she is able to secure a well-paying job, marry later (even choosing who she will marry) and have fewer children, who have a better chance at a quality education.
Population growth is a massive contributor to rising emissions so by having fewer children she is helping to reduce CO2 emissions.
Education breaks the cycle of poverty.
That's why through The Periodical we're supporting an organisation in Northern Uganda who keep girls in school. I have been supporting them for over 10 years and spent time at the schools. It's incredible to see the difference an education can make in a woman's life.
And one of the initiatives the school runs is breaking the stigma of menstruation in the community as well as providing proper family planning to prevent teen pregnancy.
Let's end period poverty and help keep girls in school!