This time of year, schoolchildren in America may be enjoying their last few moments of summer vacation before they need to go back to school. Yes, up until a certain age, children in America need to go. Unfortunately, this right to an education in the US is seen as a privilege in many other nations across the world.
Many girls and women do not have proper access to education. This is crucial for so many reasons. Actress, model, and author Dayle Haddon also believed that education for women is vital. In 2008, she founded the organization WomenOne with the goal of helping women receive an education and change the world.
“Throughout her career…Haddon met countless women and listened as they described the many challenges they faced around the world…Dayle recognized that education was the key to providing meaningful opportunities for women and girls to lift themselves out of poverty, support their families and find their voice,” according to WomenOne.
Education is critical for everyone, and WomenOne sets forth several primary reasons why it supports girls’ education specifically. “Education is a basic human right set forth by multiple UN declarations and conventions. Yet 62 million girls are out of school globally, which has far-reaching effects on their families, communities, and future generations.”
The organization states that poverty is the principal cause that prevents girls from receiving an education. If a family is poor and struggling, children may often be compelled to go into the workforce to help support the family. Similarly, this lack of an education tends to keep women in poverty.
WomenOne also believes that access to education gives girls the chance to thrive. “Education can help to preserve childhood and allow for healthy development by preventing child marriage, early pregnancy, and other harmful practices.”
For health and safety reasons, the organization finds that girls who stay in school longer are less at risk for “poor health, violence, and discrimination.”
Communities are also more successful and thriving when they invest in girls’ education, as doing so “has extensive positive effects on local communities as well as regional, national, and global economies.”
Because education for girls is so important, WomenOne strives to give girls around the world the opportunity and right to learn. “We focus on enabling women and girls to pursue their right to education by eliminating the barriers they face and ensuring that our activities and programs are innovative, evidence-based and sustainable.”
The organization gathers data to focus on areas where girls have little to no access to education. Particularly, it has launched programs and created partnerships with places such as Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Haiti, Jordan, Turkey, and the Gambia.
Even closer to home, right in New York City, WomenOne is working to ensure that women get the education they deserve to help themselves, their families, and their communities thrive.
“We facilitated a cooking workshop for adolescent mothers in the Bronx…While working together to cook a healthy and tasty meal, participants learned about the importance of nutrition for themselves and their children, kitchen skills, and grocery shopping on a budget.”
Haddon and her organization work hard to ensure that girls and women across the world receive the vital education they need to survive and live a healthy and long life, but the support does not start and end with them. Anyone can help by donating to the cause and making a huge difference in the world.
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