Importance of Educating Girls for the Overall Development of Society: A Global Perspective
Educating girls is pivotal to the development of society. Despite many global declarations and development goals, and significant effort by the international community, gender disparity in education continues to exist. This article focuses on the first research question of Somani’s 2017 study titled “Girls Have a Right to Education Too” to better understand the importance and impact of educating girls and increase awareness. This qualitative research uses primary data from 38 respondents comprising 29 interviewees and nine participants in a focus group. Participants included 16 experts and leaders in academia and development, 13 educators, four students, three development professionals, and two parents. This broad spectrum of individuals provided real-life perspectives and contextual information for the findings and recommendations of the study. Contrary to some of the earlier studies, particularly in remote and rural contexts, this study reaffirmed the importance and vital impact of educating girls for the overall development of society and proposes various strategies to increase awareness and reduce gender disparity in education. The proposed strategies include: mentorship programs, summer projects, community service initiatives, training of educators, community engagement, and context-specific media campaign including effective use of social media.