On one hand we have women behind the success of Chandrayaan and on the other hand, we have girls who are forced to marry early, not allowed to study or do not have the means to study and such reasons. The disparity is so huge that it is mind-boggling! Co-Founder of Women of Opinion (WOOP) – Rashi Mittal Nair tells HerZindagi an innovative way of contributing for women's education.
"I want to be a doctor when I grow up and treat the people of my village," says 6-year-old Bhavna from a remote village of Chainpura in Madhya Pradesh where less than 15% districts are connected with roads.
Like 80% of the girls in her village, Bhavna cannot attend school because she has to look after younger siblings, contribute to the household chores. Her parents who are laborers at a farm cannot afford the primary education let alone her dreams of becoming a doctor.
Listing some facts on girls education, Nair pointed out a few facts that would surprise you!
- A 10% increase in girls being educated can lead to an increase in GDP by 3%!
- For every extra year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 10 to 20%.
- A girl in the developing world receiving 7 years of education marries 4 years later on average and has fewer, yet healthier children.
- If all women completed primary education, there would be 66% fewer maternal deaths.
Speaking on what’s keeping girls out of school, Nair shared that most women brought up in metro cities may not understand this but millions of girls in villages face these challenges and drop out of school.
- Child, early and forced marriage
- Un-affordability or low income
- A lack of girls’ washrooms
- Concern for girls safety
- Family care and domestic housework
- Early pregnancy
- Violence in schools
- The long-distance to school
How can we keep more girls in classrooms?
We asked a few women on the platform who shared their opinions on how to make this happen: “Homeschooling can be an option. With new technology and smartphones, housewives can use their free time to record and deliver lectures to rural areas through our phones," Arpita Kapadia, age 29.
“Give a guarantee of jobs to girls after they finish secondary schooling. Future income should motivate and encourage parents to send their children to school," Sonia Kaul, age 34.
“Schools should sponsor one-time food for the child and provide amenities like clothes, washrooms and school buses for rural areas. This will solve many challenges," Mandakini Ruia, Age 45.
How just 10 minutes of your time can help contribute to the education of girls like Bhavna!
Most women with a smartphone are exposed to many brands daily. Brands are always on the lookout for women to sample, educate, review and provide insights on their products or services. The Woop platform uses the time spent engaging with a brand and turns it into points and school days.