Facts on children

Girls' Education

Making the Case

"Short-changing girls is not only a matter of gender discrimination; it is bad economics and bad social policy. Experience has shown, over and over again, that investments in girls’ education translate directly and quickly into better nutrition for the whole family, better health care, declining fertility, poverty reduction and better overall economic performance."

-From ‘We the Peoples’, the Millennium Report of the United Nations Secretary-General

“There can be no significant or sustainable transformations in societies – and no significant or lasting reduction in global poverty – until girls receive the quality basic education they need and that is their fundamental right.”

-Carol Bellamy, UNICEF Executive Director    


Few actions have as profound an impact on children – and on society as a whole – as ensuring them a quality education.  As a foundation for human development, education enables individuals to make genuine choices about the kind of lives they wish to lead.  Ultimately, education opens an infinite number of doors that might otherwise remain shut. But for millions of youngsters – most of them girls – this human right is denied. 

The resulting loss of potential does not affect girls alone, as an educated female population benefits societies and economies.

Because of the wide-ranging impact of girl’s education on many aspects of human survival and development, UNICEF has made it a priority in its medium-term strategic plan for 2002-2005.




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