Children who live in poverty have to face many obstacles to good education, and the situation is significantly perturbing for girls. Currently, there are 130 million girls worldwide who aren’t enrolled in schools. It’s a known fact that education is a way to invest in your future. But the girls belonging to poverty-ridden families cannot uplift their future and increase the quality of their lives. Support for girls with equipment, money, and tutoring allows the vicious cycle of poverty to break. Initiatives like girls scholarships go a long way in accelerating economic development and protecting the future generation. Here are the significant barriers that hinder girls from getting educated around the world.
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Cost of School
Penury is a critical factor that influences the ability of a girl to access education. Even in places where parents aren’t required to pay the school fees, it’s not easy to keep pace with the transportation expenses and cost of uniforms and textbooks. When families cannot afford the school expenses, they become inclined to send boys rather than girls to school. They also push their girls to marry when they cannot afford to provide for them.
It refers to marrying a child who is below 18 years of age. Child marriage occurs worldwide but especially in developing countries. Some parents believe that doing so will protect their girls from harm or stigma related to having a relationship outside of marriage. However, child brides also miss out on education. Rather than that, they experience early pregnancies, complications related to pregnancy, and domestic abuse. In just 2017, there were 700 million women below 18 years of age who were married. It makes it immensely challenging for girls to attain financial freedom and educate themselves further.
Forced Domestic Work
Girls are often forced to spend their time doing domestic work rather than gaining an education. It leads to low self-esteem in them earlier on in life. It also causes them to inculcate a lack of interest in educating themselves. Worldwide, girls and women spend approximately 40 per cent more time performing domestic work, like cleaning and cooking. Thus, there’s a need to shift the perspective of girls and their families toward these tasks.
Violence Based on Gender
Violence based on gender can happen in many forms. Some examples include harassment, bullying, and sexual and physical abuse. When a girl undergoes and survives any type of abuse, it dramatically impacts their enrolment, diminishes their achievements and participation, and raises drop-out rates.
Studies reveal that almost 246 million children are abused or harassed on their way to school. But of them, girls are targeted disproportionately. In such a scenario, girls’ parents or guardians are naturally less inclined to let them go to school if they need to travel a long and unsafe distance.
Girls worldwide are increasingly falling victims to human trafficking. Traffickers exploit them for marriage, forced labour, and sexual exploitation. Those who are trafficked encounter high levels of sexual and physical violence. They also report high rates of health and physical issues. This abuse makes girls get stuck in a vicious cycle of slavery and poverty, hindering them from getting an education. Although trafficking is recognised as an issue, much needs to be done to combat this crime effectively.
Education for girls is vital for the prosperity and growth of any nation. Those who showcase an excellent academic prospect but come from a poor socio-economic background can enhance their chances of achieving financial success if offered girls scholarships. Such scholarships make them intrinsically motivated to continue their education and set big goals for themselves.