Female students in Nigeria school AFP/Getty Images

Closing the Education Gender Gap

On this International Day of the Girl, the number of girls not attending school, despite having fallen by 40% since 2000, still stands at 130 million. This represents both a moral and a practical failing, because girls are not receiving the education they deserve, and businesses are struggling to find workers with the skills they need.

WASHINGTON, DC – Completing primary school in Niger was never a certainty for Aishetu Mahmoudu Hama, given all the obstacles that stood in her way. “It was hard to study,” she recalls. “We sat on the ground – sometimes on a mat, sometimes just in the dirt.”

But Aishetu persevered, and she is now a 23-year-old university student. Aishetu knows that without school, her life chances would likely be confined to herding, farming, getting married, and having a lot of children. There simply would be no other opportunities for her to pursue.

Like the female teachers who inspired her to learn, Aishetu wants to be a role model to younger girls and her own siblings. She hopes that her story will motivate them to complete their education, too.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To continue reading, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/3WNxWvh;

Handpicked to read next

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.