“I’ll be the first person in my family to finish the HSC”
In the 21st century, you might assume that girls and boys have equal opportunity when it comes to education. Sadly, this is not the case. Girls worldwide still face barriers to education that boys do not encounter. Yet, a good standard of education is essential if women are to achieve equality in society.
Here’s why it matters and what we can do to help redress the balance.
Why we need to educate girls globally
Women today seem as if they can do anything men can do. From prominent businesswomen to activists such as Greta Thunberg, and even world leaders including Angela Merkel and Jacinda Ardern, powerful women are constantly making headlines. But, these women are the lucky ones who have been educated enough to achieve positions of power and influence on the world stage.
Worldwide, there is still a huge disparity between boys and girls when it comes to their educational standards. Research by the United Nations shows that only 39% of countries have equal amounts of boys and girls attending high school. In many countries, girls are still expected to spend their time performing domestic duties while the boys go to school. This is a reflection of the expectation that girls will only go on to become wives and mothers rather than having careers in later life.
Even in Australia, women are more likely to be disadvantaged and are underrepresented in positions of power. Only 16.1% of board members in Australia are currently women, and there are still only small percentages of women entering politics or working in science, technology, and engineering. Yet, if we harnessed the full potential of women, we could increase Australia’s GDP by 11%.
The importance of an education fund for girls
Girls’ education has been a prominent issue since the first feminist movement of the 1960s, and it has gradually gathered pace. In the last 10 years, we have made huge progress in the number of girls worldwide receiving at least a primary education. However, we need to do a lot more to help girls succeed in high school.
The Harding Miller Education Foundation is an education fund providing scholarships specifically to help girls who are facing disadvantage. This ensures that girls with high potential can break the barriers facing them, ensuring that they can complete their high school education and opening the doors to university education and a professional career.
Without initiatives like this, many women still end up reliant on a partner for money or working in an unskilled, low-paid job. This needs to change if we want to create a fairer, more representative society fit for the future.
If you would like more information about the Harding Miller Education Foundation and education opportunities for girls, please contact us, and we will be happy to help.