Today is International Women’s Day, a day for celebrating the accomplishments and empowerment of women and a reminder to continuously strive for women’s equality, safety, and success. At MGEF, we recognize the role that education plays in allowing girls to achieve their dreams and in contributing to the well-being of their families and communities.
Here are just five of the countless wonderful things that happen when you educate a girl:
- An educated girl will have knowledge of her individual rights and freedom of choice, and will exercise them. For many Maasai girls, an education is the key to escaping the oppressive practices of forced early marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). As a result, an educated woman is less likely to inflict these practices upon her own children.
- An educated girl is more likely to become involved in the workforce and in turn, bring economic stability to her family and community. Studies have shown that women invest around 90% of their income into their families and communities thus reducing poverty and improving health, safety, and education for everyone.
- An educated girl knows the risks of unprotected, casual sex and will therefore help to combat the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. She will be better equipped to handle pregnancy and the health complications associated with bearing a child. This, in turn, will significantly improve maternal and infant health, allowing for healthier future generations.
- An educated girl will be more apt to voice her opinions, be involved in political and economic affairs, and empower other women to participate. Women’s involvement in politics and the economy will bring more democratic processes to areas which desperately need political change.
- An educated girl has the opportunity to dream big and to eventually realize the dreams she once thought would be impossible to achieve. Education catapults girls into a brighter future, creating an empowered woman capable of changing her own life, her community, and the world.
Every year, we ask the MGEF girls to share their hopes and dreams with us. Medicine, non-profit management, and engineering are just a few of the many chosen career paths.
Mareso aspires to teach!
Sintama strives to be a journalist!
Silvia dreams of becoming a lawyer!
Veronicah hopes to be an educational officer!
Today, we celebrate our girls and all the influential women in their lives, for overcoming the obstacles and pushing forward regardless of their circumstances. In the words of Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, a true Kenyan role model for girls everywhere, “No matter where you come from, your dreams are valid.” We hope all young girls remember these powerful words and believe them.
Keep dreaming and striving to achieve your goals!
Happy International Women’s Day!