Living in a country such as the United States, we often do not realize how privileged we are. I agree, the U.S. is nowhere near perfect, however, we have to admit that many conditions in the U.S. are better than around the world. One of these conditions is education; every single individual in this country is entitled to an education.
This is not the case around the world. In many countries, especially developing nations, girls are especially unable to get the kind of education that allows them to succeed. In their respective countries, these girls are told that they are not as capable or intelligent as boys, and therefore are not given the same education that their brothers, fathers and other male relatives are entitled to.
The world treats girls and women as second-class citizens. Girls deserve the same educational opportunities as boys so that they can succeed and move up in the world.
As of 2018, South Asia had the highest number of out-of-school girls in the world. This is due to a multitude of reasons, including child marriage, wanting the girls to work instead of go to school and dangerous conditions, such as the chances for the girls to be harassed, assaulted or even killed on their way to school.
Education should be a human right: When people are given the chance to be educated, they have the chance to have better jobs, and thus, greater monetary stability. When people are denied of this right, other problems occur. For girls, when they are not given opportunities to become educated they often are married when they are too young or are forced to work in low-paying jobs with poor conditions. These jobs are often dangerous as well.
In some countries, for a long time, it was illegal for girls to be educated at all. In Afghanistan, for example, when the Taliban ruled, girls were not allowed to go to school at all. Afghanistan has still not recovered from this ban—as of 2017, only 37 percent of adolescent girls were literate, and of the 3.5 million children who were out of school, 85 percent of them were girls.
Many girls are also unable to receive proper education in countries suffering from violence and war. In 2017, South Sudan was ranked the toughest nation for girls’ education, where nearly 75 percent of girls do not even attend primary school.
No matter what is happening in a country, education should not be compromised in any way. Governments should ensure that the children in their respective countries are receiving proper education not only so that it can benefit individual children and their families, but also to benefit the monetary status of the country as a whole.
Although UNICEF and different NGOs are working to educate more and more girls, the effort must come from within countries in order to benefit their own citizens and improve conditions overall.
The idea of universal education should not be so radical. Everyone should have the right to a proper education in order to increase opportunities for themselves and their families. It can aid governments as well, so it is in the world’s best interest to provide education for everyone.
The lack of education for girls should be treated as a global crisis, and it should be prioritized.
In the future, we should be able to live in a world that does not treat its girls as second-class citizens; we should be able to live in a world that provides education for all human beings, regardless of their gender.
Anika Veeraraghav is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.