Why educate women part 2

Education aids in poverty reduction in many ways. First, more educated people are more likely to get jobs, are more productive, and earn more. This creates a ripple effect on society by generating more revenue for the economy, placing less of a burden on social welfare systems and creating the expectations of education.  Servaas van der berg discusses that “quality-adjusted education is important for economic growth. More and better education improves a poor country’s economic growth and thereby generates economic opportunities and incomes.”[1] Education (particularly of females) has shown to bring social benefits that improve the situation of the poor: lower fertility, improved health care of children, and greater participation of women in the labor market, decrease in the number of child brides and narrow the pay gap between men and women. The education of females has another important effect on the role of women in society. It tends to draw more women into the labor market. This participation expands income-earning opportunities for many households and better utilizes the labor, skills, and talents of women. An educated woman’s household is more likely to prosper as a result of a higher overall income. 

Despite these known advantages of educating women, access to education for many women remains difficult. Obstacles to education create continued discrimination for women in access to work, economic assets and participation in private and public decision-making. Women are more likely to live in poverty than men. “In Latin America and the Caribbean, the ratio of women to men in poor households increased from 108 women for every 100 men in 1997 to 117 women for every 100 men in 2012, despite declining poverty rates for the whole region.”[2] Women also remain at a disadvantage in the labor market. “Globally, about three quarters of working-age men participate in the labor force, compared to only half of working-age women. Women earn 24 per cent less than men globally.”[3]

Despite the progress that has been made in female education, the global community must continue to make educating women and girls a priority. The needs of the community itself must be considered in designing curriculum and in determining the best mode of delivery. The global community must increase its efforts in making education more accessible. This means using innovative ideas in order to accommodate the women desiring the education and overcoming the obstacles that prevent women from gaining the eduation. 


Blog post by Linnie Pawlek, founder of Teach By Tech, Inc. a 501 (c)3 organization located in Colorado, USA. To learn more about how Teach By Tech is working to make education accessible to women of the urban slums in the developing world visit our webpage: www.teachbytech.org


[1] Van der Berg, Servaas. “Poverty and Education” Education Policy Series #10, 2008 http://www.iiep.unesco.org/en

[2] “Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 summary” United Nations, New York, 2015.

[3] “Millennium Development Goals Report 2015 summary” United Nations, New York, 2015.