Girls and young women possess a huge untapped potential. They represent a huge under-served population especially in the developing world so by reaching girls, in particular, at an early stage, we can transform their life chances. In this way, we are able to create an environment where women can have a voice in economic, political and cultural issues.
Here are 3 reasons why we need to empower young girls in order to achieve this:
1. Empowered girls strengthen economies: Even though the situation of women and girls varies greatly from region to region and from country to country, expanding their economic opportunities is key to women's empowerment. Economic empowerment can be a crucial for the change in the lives of adolescent girls by helping them to gain their financial independence, develop good saving habits and improve their future chances of participating in the labour force.
Empowering girls to take greater control over the decisions that affect their lives helps to break the cycle of poverty. In addition, it can provide these girls with mobility, boost their confidence, strengthen their social ties and improve the outcome of their personal health.
For one to truly empower young girls creating economic opportunities alone is not enough; we need to urge policymakers and communities to do the follow:
Ø Tackle social, political and cultural factors.
Ø Provide recommendations to implement more forums.
Ø More workplace readiness programmes.
Ø More targeted funding.
Ø More businesses providing better goods and services to girls and young women.
2. Women helping girls transforms the world:
Empowerment, perseverance, confidence and an entrepreneurial spirit are important notions for all kids to have in their back pockets, but equally as necessary is the one-on-one experience of a personal mentor. I believe that as women, it is our innate responsibility to pay it forward by further paving the way for our young girls so that they too can dream without limits and achieve without resistance.
We need more women in leadership positions because across the world and across all sectors women’s leadership continues to be under-represented. Women must contend with discriminatory laws, institutions, and attitudes that restrict their leadership and full participation in public life. Investing in young women’s leadership will not only change the trajectory of their future, but that of their communities as well.
3. Educating girls benefits humanity at large:
Education makes a person strong mentally, socially and intellectually by increasing their knowledge. Education has an overall impact on girls because if girls are educated, they can be successful in their various professions. It will be easier for girls to go for the careers they love or to do what they dream of being. Given the opportunity, girls can become pilots, doctors, and engineers.
Improving and increasing education, awareness and participation opportunities will help to improve the roles of young women in society. The Global Partnership for Education states that a child whose mother can read is 50 percent more likely to live past the age of five, 50 percent more likely to be immunized, and twice as likely to attend school. Educated girls produce families that are balanced in all aspects of their health. It is an investment that is worthwhile.
We must remind our girls that they are strong, capable, beautiful, important, heard and valuable from the moment they enter our world, because unfortunately, they will hear, see and feel much to contradict those messages of hope and empowerment. As they grow up, we owe it to them to ensure that our voices are louder than the crowd around them is.