Gender equality begins with education.

Meet Our Scholars

Saoudatou, Our Sisters Read Senegal Scholar

Saoudatou is a 3rd grader at Ndiogone Tallène school in rural Senegal. Before becoming a WGEP scholar, she never really liked school; she preferred to sell peanuts in the market with her mother. One day, the Our Sisters Read program Director and Librarian came to the field and brought her a bag full of supplies, toiletries, snacks and clothes. “Since that day, I have not been absent from school and I greatly enjoy the reading games that we play with the program’s Outreach Officers.”

Jacklyn, Sisters to School Kenya Graduate

Jacklyn joined the WGEP Kenya program in 8th grade after her parents separated and her mother was left to care for 4 children all alone. With the support of our program, Jacklyn was able to stay in school and receive the tutoring that helped her pass her final high school exam and move on to university. She is now working towards a degree in Economics and Statistics at Kenya’s Egerton University.  “The program enabled me to be self-empowered as a young woman in today’s society where there are many challenges to face and tackle.

Sadio, Sisters to School Senegal Scholar

Sadio has been a Sisters to School Senegal scholar since 2008. She comes from a very poor family, so even though her mother worked very hard to support her, she rarely had the school supplies she needed. This made studying and doing well very challenging for her. However, since becoming a WGEP scholar in 2008, Sadio has not had any difficulties since the project pays for her schooling, supplies, toiletries and tutoring. “I am now very happy and relieved since the project takes such good care of me.” Sadio hopes to continue her education and become a midwife to help the women of her village.

Terry, Kenya ARP Graduate

Terry is 16 years old and attends high school in Gatunga through a WGEP scholarship. When she was 13, Terry participated in WGEP’s Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP), our program to end FGM/C. Through ARP, Terry learned about her rights as a young woman as well as the harms of FGM/C. Since going through the program, Terry has made a point of talking to other young women and educating them on the harms of FGM/C. “I have been taught how to be responsible and become a role model for other girls.”

WHY is education for girls’ so effective in the fight against global poverty?

Raises Eventual Income Women’s incomes have been shown to be more likely than men’s to go towards food, education, health, and other family needs. Providing girls with even an extra year of schooling increases eventual wages by 10–20% . Also, even a 1 percent increase in the number of women with secondary education can increase annual national per capita economic growth by 0.3% .

 

Saves More Mothers and Babies Every year of education delays marriage for girls, lowers their risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth, and reduces the number of children they are likely to have. Each year a woman spends in school reduces both fertility and child mortality by 10% .

 

Leads to Healthier Families Children of mothers who have even a primary school education are twice as likely to survive past the age of five. This is because educated women have more access to the resources they need to better feed and care for their families. For example, the children of a mother with even just one year of primary education have shown a 43% decline in malnutrition.

 

Reduces risk for HIV/AIDS and other illnesses Every year of education for a girl increases awareness and lowers her risk of infection. A girl who completes basic education has been shown to be three times less likely to contract HIV. Education also increases overall health outcomes for women and their families for the rest of their lives.

 

Helps Protect From Violence and Abuse Educated women are better empowered and better equipped to combat abuses such as domestic violence, trafficking, and discrimination at home, in society or in the workplace. Girls receiving an education are also less likely to be subjected to female genital cutting and more likely to oppose female genital cutting for their daughters.

 

Impacts the Next Generation Educated women are more likely to send their own children to school, be more active in their communities, and be advocates for other women and girls.