World Women’s Day is a good occasion to reflect on how important our contribution as women is to our progress as a society. We are employees, bosses, colleagues, neighbors, partners, mothers. We work, manage, educate, help, organize and get involved. We can shape our lives according to our ideas. We can do that because girls and boys have the same starting conditions in Germany as in other industrialized nations. They go to school together, study or do an apprenticeship. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many developing countries.
130 million girls worldwide do not go to school. Twice as many girls as boys are never enrolled in school. Almost two thirds of the illiterate population worldwide are women.
Education is the key to a better life, especially in developing countries.
The 26-year-old Rumana from Sudan, for example, never went to school as a child. She is now a mother herself and would like to give her daughter a better future. To help her with her homework, Rumana decided to go to school herself. She is now in 7th grade. Their fate clearly shows us the importance of education for people in developing countries: For them, education is the key to a better life.
However, various obstacles make it particularly difficult for girls to access education. Poverty, social and cultural factors and the early marriage of girls play a role, as does the lack of female teachers. Other factors are the low appreciation for girl education and costs for school attendance, but also sexual violence in schools and long journeys to school. This situation is absolutely unacceptable and not worthy of the 21st century.
During the G7 presidency two years ago and now as part of the G20 presidency, Germany has been very committed to the education of girls and further training for women and has thus taken on a leading role.
Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble recently said: “History teaches us that there is only one magic word for societies that want to adapt successfully and sustainably to new living and working conditions – and that means education.” It could not have been formulated more succinctly , He hits the nail on the head.