International Women's Day, while initially focused on women in the workplace, has evolved into a day to take stock of the progress made toward gender equality as well as issues that still need to be addressed.
Education has been proven to be a strong equalizer between men and women yet, globally, nearly half a billion women cannot read and 62 million girls are denied an education, according to UNICEF.
A report on girls’ education noted that girls are kept from school for many reasons:
- Institutional and cultural barriers
- Pressure for early marriage
- Lack of safety in getting to school
- Lack of separate latrines for boys and girls
- Sexual harassment and gender-based violence in schools
- Domestic work overload
If girls receive an education, it leads to:
- A decrease in child marriages by 64 percent
- A decrease in maternal mortality by 70 percent
- More children surviving past the age of 5