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October 11, 2018

‘Educated girls can add up to $30 trillion to global economy’


October 11, 2018

Islamabad Increasing the share of girls completing secondary education by 1 per cent increases econom: ic growth by 0.3 per cent and if all girls in the world completed secondary school, they could add up to $30 trillion to the global economy.

The facts were revealed in the report titled ‘Full Force: Why the World Works Better When Girls Go to School’ launched under Malala Fund’s girls’ education campaign, ‘Full Force’ to mark the International Day of Girl Child that is commemorated on October 11.

The report presents the economic case for girls’ education and calls on leaders attending the upcoming G20 meeting to launch a specific initiative to ensure all girls can succeed in the modern labour force, across the world.

The report reveals that educating girls also reduces poverty, improves public health and cuts the risk of war in half in developing countries. “Study after study shows that giving all girls 12 years of education would have a world-changing effect on our global economies,” says the report.

Girls with secondary education become women who are more likely to participate on equal terms in the labour force, lead healthier and more productive lives and be decision-makers at home and in their communities. In addition, teaching girls digital skills could reduce the global gender pay gap by 21 per cent.

Last but not least; the report notes that a study of 100 countries showed that simply by increasing the share of girls completing secondary education by 1 per cent increases economic growth by 0.3 per cent.

Malala Fund’s Gulmakai Network champions in Pakistan noted in a statement that beneath these headlines, there is little consensus — and even less action — around the necessary response.

“We know the solutions don’t happen overnight — getting all girls in school requires curriculum reform, increased funding, better data and societal change. But everyday girls around the world achieve or exceed their own ambitions. It’s time world leaders set a course of action to solve girls’ education and do the same. Prioritizing girls’ education is essential in achieving the overall national education goals of Pakistan. While we have made strides in primary education for girls, more attention is needed to close the gender gaps in secondary and higher secondary education, across the country,” says the statement.

According to the Pakistan Education Statistic 2016-17, the 22.8 million out of school children’s population comprises more girls than boys i.e. 49 per cent girls compared to 40 per cent boys. The net enrolment rate for girls stands at 72 per cent at primary level that comes down to 45 per cent at middle level and further drops to 27 per cent at secondary level.

Gender disparity prevails across the country. The total population of out-of-school children stands at 6 million in Sindh, 2 million in KP and Balochistan and 10 million in Punjab. Among the total population of girls of school-going age, 58 per cent remain out-of-school in Sindh compared to 47 per cent boys in the same age bracket. Similarly, 49 per cent of the girls of school-going age in KP (compared to 21 per cent boys), 78 per cent girls in Balochistan (compared to 64 per cent boys) and 41 per cent girls in Punjab (compared to 39 per cent boys) are currently out-of-school.

The Gulmakai Network proposed a national policy framework to be developed with consensus of federal and provincial governments and all the stakeholders to correct gender disparity in education. The Gulmakai Network called upon the federal government to convene an all-party meeting of all the stakeholders and provincial governments to agree on a national plan of action for girls’ education that ensures federal and provincial government commitments to increase spending on education to 6 per cent of GDP (with a 1 per cent annual increase) and to maintain a minimum of 20 per cent of provincial budgets for education.

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