Girls + Education = making the impossible possible for all

When my friend Holly Pavlika (of Momentum) asked if I would participate in a "tweet-a-thon" for the first UN-designated International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2012, I agreed, immediately! After all, having just attended the Social Good Summit and reading/watching Half the Sky, I know that global change starts locally. Educating girls isn't just right, it's the smart thing to do to create sustainable communities (both local and global). It's basic math:

  • When the number of girls attending school increases by just 10%, GDP increases by 3%
  • When a girl attends school for seven years, she'll marry four years later and have two fewer children
  • A girl's wages increase up to 15% after receiving one year of primary education
and this which connects directly to the advocacy work I do on behalf of Shot@Life
  • A girl is 50% more likely to immunize her children when she is educated
So, this Thursday, starting at 9am, an amazing group of advocates will be spending their day sharing with you why it's #BasicMath on behalf of 10x10act. We will be raising our voice, not just for those in our communities (or sphere of influence), but for those we don't even know, because 

Education opens the door for community change

We know that around the world, girls face barriers to educational opportunities that boys do not. We know that access to education and materials can transform not just the child who has that chance, but can positively transform the community in which she lives. I know that my family is greatly blessed. My six-year old daughter and I have a regular opportunity to visit our local library every Saturday. She doesn't recognize that this presents her with resources that will encourage her to reach her fullest potential.

Oh baby, the places you can go...Shouldn't every child, every girl have this same opportunity? 
My daughter lives in a place where she is encouraged to dream big and follow those dreams. She's too young to understand that this is a world where of the 163 million illiterate youth in the world, more than half - 63 percent - are female (UNFPA) or that globally, 77.6 million girls are currently not enrolled in either primary or secondary education (UNESCO). My daughter has the power to change her mind about what she wants to be when she grows up on a daily basis because she is empowered to change her mind and those options are continually introduced to her whether by teachers in her classroom, stories that she reads in books, or by seeing the adults in her life live out their dreams.

And that's what it's about. Together we have the power to give all girls access to a quality education, together we can lift our voices and say that adding girls and education makes extraordinary things happen.

So add your voice, your message, your power. I'll be tweeting on Wednesday from 1-2pm, but if you can't join me, at least join in when you can and learn how you can help raise the value of a girl. It's as simple as #BasicMath.

Follow the conversation using #IDG2012. Help turn possibility into potential.

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