Today I was listening to the BBC News on NPR, and they did a moving piece about how hard it is for girls in Palestine to go to school. They interviewed a young woman, aged 15, who lives in a particularly conservative part of northern Palestine. She’s rare in that her father actually has allowed her to attend school, which she loves passionately. She wants to grow up to be a doctor, or perhaps run her own school for girls.
The problem is that he’s about to pull her out of school permanently, and she’s devastated. Why? Because he’s afraid that if she continues with her education, she won’t receive any marriage proposals.
Let me state that again: if she’s educated, no one will want to marry her.
Apparently, men in Palestine don’t want an educated wife who can think on her own. That’s the reality for many young women in developing countries like Palestine.
There are stories like this often on BBC and NPR. And the more I learn about the complexity and hardship girls in third world countries face regarding their education, the more I want to help do something about it.
Ed, the owner of Earth Divas, has already taken an incredibly inspiring step to make a positive change in this area; he’s started a tailoring school for women in Nepal. This school will enable women to learn how to use a sewing machine; this simple skill will dramatically increase their lifetime earning power and job security. It will also help them earn enough money to send their children to school.
However, I wanted to highlight two charities that are making huge strides in helping girls attain an education
Camfed, which stands for Campaign for Female Education, is an incredible organization; they have the highest rating for transparency and efficiency through Charity Navigator, and they help millions of girls in Africa afford to go to school.
What can educating girls do for a community? Take a look at this wonderful graphic that Camfed offers on their Pintrest page.
2. Room to Read
Room to Read is another four-star rated charity through Charity Navigator. Room to Read helps both boys and girls, but I think they provide the majority of their assistance to girls. They work mainly in India, Nepal, Cambodia, and several countries in Africa.
How You Can Help
I know how easy it is to feel hopeless hearing about the gross inequality that girls and women suffer around the world. But donating to amazing charities like Camfed and Room to Read is just one way you can help make a positive difference for these girls.
Filed under: Fair Trade News on October 24th, 2012