As International Women’s Day approaches, we’re celebrating stories of empowerment for some of the inspirational women we work with. But we’re also asking why gender equality is so crucial to the elimination of poverty. Here are five reasons why.
Did you know that each extra year of schooling that a mother receives reduces the risk of infant mortality by 5 – 10%?
In fact, if all women had a secondary education, child deaths would be cut in half, saving 3 million lives a year. And if all mother’s completed primary education, maternal deaths would be reduced by two-thirds, saving 98,000 lives.
The stats speak for themselves! And saving lives is really just the tip of the iceberg. A quality education for girls would also improve child nutrition, reduce child marriages and teen pregnancies, and reduce the pay gap between men and women. Not to mention offering women a pathway to financial independence.
Yet, in Sub-Saharan Africa only 8% of girls finish secondary school! In Ireland that figure is 93%. Imagine what could be achieved if we could start to close that gap?
MAMY KATANGU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)
Mamy Katangu is an accounting assistant for Concern in Democratic Republic of Congo. The thing she feels that has most empowered her is her diploma.