70% of the one and a half billion people living in extreme poverty are women and girls

Wireless technology, something that we wouldn’t be able to live without now, something that our lives revolve around, was created by a woman.

Programming language and computer software, something that we need to be able to learn with, to be able to stay close with the people that we love, was created by a woman.

Computer programming, something that is quintessential in our lives nowadays, used in every industry, and every field was created by a woman.

These things have now reformed the way our lives work, and we can see so in many different scenarios and critical moments, like how IoT prevents the spread of the worldwide pandemic, COVID-19.

So why are more men involved in the field?

Because there are 132 million girls children out of school worldwide, and only 66.3 million girls are in secondary schools. And globally, 62 million girls - who all deserve an education, and could have ideas and imaginations unheard of - never attend primary or secondary school, or get any form of school education in their entire life. This issue is known, yet the steps being taken to solve it are slow and frustrating. Thus, many girls who deserve to be educated, who deserve to learn and grow, are being left behind.

Girls are not able to get an education primarily because of poverty. 70% of the one and a half billion people living in extreme poverty are women and girls, causing a high incidence of child marriage, (on average every 3 and a half seconds) causing a girl to become a child bride, unfortunately. Girls are also forever looked through the lens of traditional statuses and roles, parents and legal guardians thinking that they will end up being housewives, or not in need of education.

An extra year of secondary school in a girls education can increase their potential income by around 15-25%

So what needs to change? How do we ensure the many girls who deserve the right to education, and who deserve to be able to develop and learn? In Africa, approximately 31 million girls at primary school age never go to school, and 17 million are never expected to enroll or go to school. It is time that we leave behind these sexist ideas that suggest that women and girls are not smart enough to go to school. If anything, we should see that more young girls go to school. Shouldn’t we?

Education allows girls to get jobs, which is extremely important, because they will earn less in the jobs that they have because of the gender pay gap, and will need to have enough education to be able to get a well-paying job that allows them to be financially independent.

Currently, women rely on their financial lives and statuses to be granted security and freedom that their paycheck in fact promises. Further, the gender gap is found in every stage of a woman's life, meaning that they need to be able to have enough independence and education to allow them to get a job which is enough when rather a man doesn’t need to get such a high job to be able to earn what she would.

On average, women in the United States earn 70% of what men earn in the same job and role, sometimes working much harder or longer than men do. An extra year of secondary school in a girl's education can increase their potential income by around 15-25%. This would mean that a woman earning £501 without a secondary education, could earn £626.25 if they had one or two more years of education, at a minimum.

Girls with proper education beyond grade 7 are able to help reduce child or early marriages, be less likely to die early in pregnancies, be able to have healthier children, moreover girls with education are likely to reduce poverty, reducing the worldwide rate highly. Every girl in the world can aspire to be what they want, and have the right to a chance to be that.

You never know what the next genius invention is going to be, and you just never know who is going to invent it.

Contributed by: Prisha Gupta, Jumeirah College, Dubai

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