In 2012, the United Nations declared October 11th the International Day of the Girl Child. In 2013, the day will focus on “Innovating for Girls’ Education.” Education is essential and the benefits reach far beyond setting a girl up for her future. Children of mothers who had a primary school education are 50 percent less likely to die before their fifth birthday. For every additional year of education, the risk of child death drops by an additional 10 percent.
Innovation is essential, but simple things can contribute to girls’ education as well- such as a well, or a borehole. Women and girls can spend up to six hours a day gathering water, preventing girls from attending school. A World Bank study from 10 different regions in Ghana found that the shorter the journey to gather water, the higher school attendance was. By decreasing the trip to collect water by 15 minutes, girls’ school attendance increased by 8-12%.
The Water for the World Act is a bill that not only has the potential to bring water to the areas where it will have the most impact, but it can help girls who will then have a chance to go to school, raise families, have careers and innovate themselves.
Photo: Khanvaline, in Laos, is the youngest of eight none who have finished their education. © 2013 World Vision/ photo by Mark Nonkes