Monday 23 January 2017

Equality shouldn't vary from culture to culture

Boko Haram knows that the biggest threat to religious terrorists is educated girls, writes Carol Hunt

Published 18/05/2014 | 02:30

PLIGHT: Protesters at a sit-in rally in Abuja for the abducted schoolgirls last week. Photo: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde
PLIGHT: Protesters at a sit-in rally in Abuja for the abducted schoolgirls last week. Photo: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

It's called "The Girl Effect": the fact, and it is a fact, that if you want to bring men, women, families, communities and countries out of poverty, you concentrate on educating the girls. Why? Because – and again, this isn't just my feminist opinion but a fact – when "you improve a girl's life through education, health, safety and economic opportunity, these changes have a positive effect on their families, communities and nations". Any country interested in progress, equality and all the other Enlightenment ideals that we've fought so hard to achieve and maintain in the West, has to ensure it pays attention to the education of its girls.

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"Change starts with a girl", is the tagline of 'Educating Girls Matters' – because when girls are educated you get lower birth rates, improvement of child nutrition and health, an enhancement of women's domestic role and political participation, and lower child- and maternal-mortality rates, among many other benefits.

Like you, I find it hard to believe that there are places in the world, and people living in them, that don't have a similar aim. Who isn't interested in eradicating poverty, spreading prosperity and wisdom within their communities?

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