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  Home : White Papers : Women and Education

Women and Education

women in educationSoroptimist International of the Americas, working to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughoutthe world, examines the issue of women and education in this white paper. In 1948, the United Nations declared basic education to be a fundamental human right. Despite that, more than 115 million children do not attend school, 62 million of whom are girls. Two-thirds of the world’s 862 million illiterates are women. The benefits of education for women and girls are many, resulting in the social and economic advancement of children, families and communities. Educated women are more likely to enter the formal labor market, learn what they and their children need to do to stay healthy, and are more likely to send their children to school. Unfortunately, sexist cultural norms, poverty, poor health, child labor and safety issues keep many girls from receiving an education. The United Nations, through the Millennium Development Goals, reports some progress, but governments still have work to do to improve access to and quality of education for girls and women.

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