Education for girls matters.

What would you give for your children to be educated well? And by your children, let’s start with those under your own roof if you have any. Does this question change when you are thinking about adolescents in your youth group? What about your neighborhood? City? The world? My oldest is just old enough for preschool. In our area preschool is not free. My husband and I had the conversation about whether this was something we could afford or not. Ultimately, we had the luxury of this being a choice and while we are stretched and had to cut back elsewhere, she is able to attend. We even try to offer a little during fundraisers to allow others scholarship money when possible.

This past week we watched Girl Rising, a film about educating girls around the world. More than that, a film about the changes that come when a girl is educated. It took not only the courage of girls but of their fathers, brothers and other men and boys around them. While is about girls, it is also about humanity and the dignity men and women extend to won another. Just a few facts from the film: There is a lower rate of death during childbirth (the #1 cause of death in girls 15-19 is childbirth), girls with 8 years of education are 4 times less likely to become a child bride, a child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive to the age of 5, 80% of all human trafficking victims are girls. For a complete list of statistics and sources check out the Girl Rising Stat sheet. For each year of education a girl receives, her status and her chance of survival as well as her chance to avoid abuse an poverty rises.

My girls will never know a world where education is not an option. Some classrooms may be better than others but still, they will be in a classroom. My responsibility is to know what is being taught, to support efforts toward reading and writing. Even more, my responsibility as a mom seeking to pass on what it means to follow Christ means that I MUST let my daughters know now that education is a privilege. That it is something that is to be used to better the world for themselves and others. That even if others do not agree with their beliefs, that no woman, no girl deserves to be born into a world where she is simply a commodity or sexual object which may be discarded on a whim. Education can break the cycle.

This is a part of our back to school conversation. We are working on what this will look like played out in our family life and our world. What about you? What would you give for all God’s children to be educated well?

Check out Girl Rising donations through 10 X 10 productions. They have partnered with several amazing organizations. If not donating here, do something. Donate, tutor, pray, advocate, educate others on the needs of girls (and boys) in many parts of the world and at home.

 

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About Amy Jacober

Amy Jacober (PhD, Fuller Seminary) is a youth ministry veteran with ministry and teaching experience. She focuses on practical theology, urban ministry, theology & disability, and marginalized communities. She is a volunteer youth worker in her church and community, lead consultant with Youth Ministry Architects and serves on the Young Life Capernaum national board. In her free time she can be found playing with her three young children, husband, and oversized dog.