DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
Barriers To Girls Education Around The World
  1. Families cannot meet direct costs, so children do not enrol in school or they drop out. Gender dimension: If a choice has to be made between sending a boy or a girl to school, the boy will usually be given preference.
  2. Families cannot afford the loss of income or the labour contribution of their children, so their children do not enrol or attend. The traditional division of labour often disadvantages girls (more likely to have to work in the home, care for siblings etc.).
  3. Education is not valued or is seen as irrelevant to or in conflict with accepted roles in society. Early marriage, low status of women, and intractable patriarchal societies often result in lower priority on education of girls. Content of education reinforces gender stereotypes.
  4. Children are not able to participate and/or learn: children care for sick family members and head households. Gender dimension: Girls often more likely to care for family and work. Girls are more vulnerable to exploitation without family stability. Boys often get more food than girls.
  5.  There is an icreased likelihood of non-enrollment or nonattendance and dropping out after enrollment. Gender dimension: There are issues of safety and security and parents are less likely to allow daughters to attend school if they have to travel long distances. In some countries, boarding facilities are available, but only for boys.
  6. Education is not free and compulsory in principle or practice so there is an increased likelihood that children will fall through the safety net, be unable to take examinations or be forbidden re-entry into school. Girls often miss out on education if choices have to be made. The absence of a birth certificate often precludes eligibility for entry or examinations. Girls are less likely to be registered than boys. Pregnant girls are excluded from school, even following birth.
  7. There is increased likelihood of non-enrollment, nonattendance and dropping out with “son preference” in enrollment. The traditional gender division of labour and lack of a safe and secure environment can have a disproportionate impact on girls.
What The Malala Fund Is Doing
  1. The Malala Fund supports local education projects and global initiatives promoting girls secondary education in six countries.
  2. In Sweden, Malala donated the World Children Prize money of $50,000 to UNRWA to help rebuild damaged schools in Gaza. 
  3. Malala won the US liberty Medal and promised to donate the cash prize to fund education in Pakistan.
  4. She has written a book called “I Am Malala”.
  5. She is the first teenage girl to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
  6. The Malala Fund has increased enrollment for girls at secondary schools in Swat Valley, and funded relief efforts from the floods of 2014 for damaged classrooms and provisions like books, uniforms and other school supplies at two girls' schools.They also supported the continuation of education for children escaping the conflict in North Waziristan in 2014.
  7. The Malala Fund provided funding to Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon through the Kayany Foundation which will go toward establishing an informal secondary school for 200 girls in 2015.The Malala Fund will kickstart programs in support of informal and alternative learning for girls in 2015 in Syria.
  8. They are enrolling 300 out-of-school girls aged 16-18 from slums in Nairobi in tech training and entrepreneurship in 2015 and 2016.
  9. The Malala Fund has provided 30 of the girls who escaped from Boko Haram with scholarships to complete secondary school, cover school-related expenses, and provide counseling services.
Hear Her Voice and Stand With Malala




Malala Yousafzai’s, innocence is the first thing that strikes her audience as she stands tall in spite of her small stature delivering her speech. This is her spellbinding speech at the United Nations General Assembly, July 12th, 2013 U.N. General Assembly where some of the greatest statesmen have addressed their audiences. As this young school-going teenager speaks from the same prestigious platform, everybody listens.

Malala, whose personal courage became an inspiration to all humanity, begins by acknowledging the honor that has been bestowed on her for receiving the opportunity to speak.  She offers gratitude towards God and her well-wishers. With her reference to wearing Benazir Bhutto’s (late Prime Minister of Pakistan) shawl, she presents herself as a responsible and strong person who has to carry forward a great legacy of her ideal: the legacy of change and revolution, as Benazir Bhutto once fought for. As she courteously addresses everybody as “Dear brothers and sisters," she forms an immediate connection with her audience. The audience is comprised of great leaders, statesmen and intellectuals from all over the world. The global audience listens, for this mere girl of 16 came to recognition due to her bravery. Her brush with death on October 9, 2012, as she was shot by Taliban in Swat Valley, adds a very authentic weight to her words as she speaks out for her cause. Malala’s cause is to secure education for all children, all over the world, but especially girls as they are suffering the most. She speaks for the education of the children of Taliban and other extremists too. She believes that education can bring a powerful change, and this is the change many narrow-minded people fear, so they kill children and destroy their schools. In fact, she talks from experience for she took a bullet in her head for going to school and this strengthens her ability to reach out.


Malala addresses the rights of children for education with a passion in her voice. Her motive is not only to promote education, but she invokes the help of world leaders to bring dignity and peace to these little victims of war, conflict and terrorism: “Neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against Taliban or any other terrorist group”. With her statement she makes a logical appeal that efforts towards hatred are wasted. This alone will pave the way for the real bright future. The pen is mightier than the sword and the extremists are, therefore, afraid of books and pens. As books bring knowledge and knowledge brings freedom, especially for women, these individuals fear knowledge itself.  She cites the example of the boy from her school, who on being asked by a journalist as to why the Taliban are against education, replied: for they do not know what is written inside the book. 


Being the child that she is, Malala relates to her audience at a very basic level. She is wise, yet simple and humble. These traits shine through her statements like “Malala day is not my day”, “ I am just one of them”, I am the same Malala”. She portrays her conviction in forgiveness and compassion as she names Jesus Christ, Mohammed and Buddha. She encompasses all, regardless of religion, case, country and culture in her speech as she glorifies Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Bacha Khan and their lessons of non-violence. Malala’s youthful confidence makes more impact as she inspires women of all ages by saying “There was a time when women activist asked men to stand up for their rights”. Indirectly, she stirs the inner strength of women to fight for their dignity and independence. Yet, she does not exclude men from participating in this fight, thus, keeping everybody in grasp.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
The Malala Fund

The Story Behind The Voice


Malala was born on 12th July 1997 in Mingora, Pakistan, to Ziauddin Yousafzai and Tor Pekai. Her father named her after a great heroin of Afghanistan. True to her namesake, she too fought for her freedom, her basic right to study and to simply play in her native Swat valley. Violent Taliban fanatics destroyed this beautiful valley.These narrow-minded men passed orders to shut down girls' schools all over the region and even blew up many schools. Malala’s father was an active participant in the literary societies and an active environmentalist who participated in processions and programs that used to take place to save Swat so her father became her first inspiration at a very young age. Living in an environment where girls did not have the basic freedom even to play as openly and freely as the boys, young Malala already had a free thinking mind, all thanks to her father who encouraged her in every possible manner. He was a teacher and ran a school so it is not surprising that his daughter took up the offer of a BBC Urdu online representative to document her life as a school girl living in violence-inflicted Swat. At the tender age of eleven, she started writing, " Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl" on BBC Urdu online under the pseudonym of " Gul Makai" since revealing her identity would have been disastrous for her and her family. Everybody's fears were realized when her true identity was revealed. On 9th October 2012, this brave Pashtun girl was shot at point blank range on a school bus. As the media worldwide relayed this heartbreaking news through various sources, the whole world was introduced to Malala, this girl with uncommon courage on television.


After The Bullet

Malala, with her father and others. has co-founded the organization called Malala Fund. Its priority is education for children on all levels. The organization helps provide access to high quality education at community levels. They advocate for changes in local policies in various countries. Malala continues to appeal to the world community and leaders to help her cause since they can bring about real changes in their respective countries. The fund invests in solutions and ways to empower local educators and leaders to achieve their motto of education for all.


Malala, with her determination and resilience alone, changed a bullet into an opportunity of a lifetime. Shedding her fears and insecurities, she compels many like me to think and act from our individual capacity to help others. She, as a simple village girl, had only courage and will to start out and so should we. As I continue to watch her interviews on Facebook, follow her on Instagram and Twitter, my resolve to help is further strengthened. As she gets Skyped by the Secretary General of United Nations and receives an Instagram from Beyonce, she is leaving a remarkable digital footprint behind as she moves towards her goal of education equality.





Malala's Digital Footprint
Twitter PresenceThe Website

Malala has been using the medium of twitter extensively for conveying her thoughts and support. She has been actively vociferous in the "Bring Back Our Girls" campaign for the return of schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria, "A World At School" movement for children, "ONE" campaign and ICRW Protecting Children In West and Central Africa via UNICEF. Winning the Nobel Peace Prize has given impetus to her movement.


She speaks out for the menace of girl brides through Girl Up, Girl Effect, Girls not Brides and Plan UK.


In Sweden, she donated World Children Prize money of $50,000/- to UNRWA to help rebuild damaged schools in Gaza.


She won the US Liberty Medal on 24th of October and vowed to donate the cash prize to fund education and relief efforts in Pakistan where the most unfortunate and heartbreaking attack on children at school, happened in December in Peshawar. This gruesome incident shook the world. Malala spoke out against the Peshawar Attacks and participated in a candle light vigil in Birmingham to show her support. "


"I am Malala Young Readers Edition" offers information to youth about global problems (launched on 24th December 2014). 


When enterting the website, audiences are immediately greeted by a colourful picture of Malala and a few students in a classroom urging to , JOIN MALALA. The statement on the screen sums all that the organization stands for: “Quality secondary education for all girls.” Malala's display of a concentrated expression holding pen and paper reminds us of her own battle to study a little while ago. It carries with it a world of associations as this young girl was shot by terrorists not too long ago in her struggle for attaining her basic right to education. As the screen reads,”Inspired and lead by Malala's example,” there is a subtle persuasion to act and support her cause, at the same time adding to her credibility to lead. The ‘Who We Are’ section of her site reveals the founding group of people and advisors of the Malala Fund. The prestigious backgrounds and achievements of the core members further authenticate their purpose to align with Malala. Personal photos of Malala at various troubled sites around the world, doing her work, communicates her strong will to stand up for her mission. ‘What We Do’ is another section of the site, which demonstrates the three main paths through which the organization wants to empower girls. The beautiful pictures of Malala, with other girls, giving her speech and laying stones with her father all give support to the claims on the site. These claims advocate for policy changes at all levels so girls have access to high-quality education at community level and focus on community-centered solutions for empowering local leaders and teachers. The image of Malala with her father laying bricks creates a very positive impression. She comes across as a strong young person actually paving the way and laying a foundation for a brighter future.Malala's photos working with senior refugees in Jordan, schools in Kenya and girls in Nigeria, create a very influential and meaningful impact. The smiling face of these children facing such adversities, target our heart. The image of dancing girls in Nigeria with Malala's father seems to be a celebration of the bravery of these girls as they strive to educate themselves.  
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
What Is Happening Around The World


"Education continues to be denied to girls as a result of cultural and social norms and practices that perpetuate harmful stereotypes about appropriate roles for women and reinforce the idea that education is ‘wasted’ on girls. Gender-related violence and other forms of discrimination within schools also contribute to a high rate of school abandonment by girls. Alongside the socio-cultural factors that give rise to violations of girls’ human rights, there are other legal, political and economic obstacles that may limit the full implementation of the right to education for girls. Several recent cases of attacks against girls accessing education have highlighted the fragile nature of achievements in increasing the accessibility, availability, adaptability, acceptability and quality of education for all. These events include the killing of more than 100 children in a Pakistani Taliban attack at an army school in Peshawar in December 2014, the abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls in April 2014 by the Boko Haram movement in northeast Nigeria, the 2012 shooting of education activist Malala Yousafzai by members of the Taliban in Pakistan, several incidents of poisoning and acid attacks against schoolgirls in Afghanistan between 2012 and 2014, the reported forced removal of girls from schools in Somalia to become ‘wives’ of Al-Shabaab fighters in 2010, and the abduction and rape of girls at a Christian school in India in July 2013.8 According to United Nations’ sources, more than 3,600 separate attacks against educational institutions, teachers and students were recorded in 2012 alone.  Attacks on schools in at least 70 different countries were documented during the period 2009-2014, with a number of these attacks being specifically directed at girls, parents and teachers advocating for gender equality in education. In addition to targeted attacks, many more girls around the world routinely experience gender-related violence and other forms of discrimination that limit or prohibit the free exercise of their right to education."



“An educated girl is less vulnerable to violence, less likely to marry and have children when still a child herself, and more likely to be literate and healthy into adulthood – as are her own children. Her earning power is increased and she is more likely to invest her income for the benefit of her family, community and country. It is not an exaggeration to say educating girls can save lives and transform futures.”

Nigel Chapman, CEO Plan International

Underage Marriage

Due To Lack of Education

Some Statistics You Should Know


14 million girls under 18 will be married this year(2012); 38 thousand today; 13 girls in the last 30 seconds.
Girls with 8 years of education are 4 times less likely to be married as children.

Percentages of girls getting married under the age of 18 in the following counteries,which are also known for the least amount of girls education:

66 million girls are out of school globally.
There are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary school.
School is not free in over 50 countries.
The extent to which girls are disproportionately excluded from education is higher at the secondary level than in primary education and increases further from the lower to the upper secondary levels.
In the Central African Republic, Niger, Chad and Malawi, fewer than 1 in 200 girls go to university.
In 47 out of 54 African countries, girls have less than a 50% chance of completing primary school.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the gender gap widens significantly at the secondary level, where around six girls are enrolled for every ten boys.
In Tanzania, only 32% of the girls who complete primary school make the transition to lower secondary.
In Bangladesh, the secondary completion rate for boys is 23% compared with 15% for girls.
In Guinea, only 26% of girls enrolled in the last grade of primary education actually enter secondary education compared to 34% of boys
There are 600 million girls in the developing world.

Why We Need To Invest In Girls Education




The education of girls and women can lead to a wide range of benefits – from improved maternal health, reduced infant mortality and fertility rates to increased prevention against HIV and AIDS.


  1. Each extra year of a mother’s schooling reduces the probability of infant mortality by 5% to 10%.
  2. Improvements in women’s education explained half of the reduction in child deaths between 1990 and 2009.
  3. More educated mothers are more likely to know that HIV can be transmitted by breastfeeding and that the risk of mother-to-child transmission can be reduced by taking drugs during pregnancy.
  4. In Malawi, 60% of mothers with secondary education or higher were aware that treatment could reduce HIV transmission risks, compared with 27% of women with no education.
  5. A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult. 
  6. Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their children to school.
  7. In Burkina Faso, mothers with secondary education are twice as likely to give birth in health facilities as those with no education.
  8. If India enrolled 1% more girls in secondary school, their GDP would rise by $5.5 billion. 
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
About The Author

Hi! I am Rageene Berry, and I am currently a Forensic Science student at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I am an international student from India and was born in the northern state of Punjab in India. I come from a big Indian family, and I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have my parents, aunts, uncles or cousins around me. My favorite people in the world are possibly my nephews and nieces. I can’t imagine my life without a single one of these people. I have recently shifted to New York, and it’s been an amazing experience up until now. I have met the most amazing and different people here just like the people in my group for this project. I am trying to explore the city as much as I can, and my favorite thing to do is just to walk down a street and just eat new food and soak in everything I can. I also love going to a museum on a free day and lucky for me New York has a lot of those. Coming to New York has made me want to travel the world even more. 

When I get time to get away from studying and doing assignments, my favorite thing to do, since 6th grade, has been playing tennis. I have always lived in a small town so finding things to do was not that easy until one of the first professional tennis academies of my city started. I joined the academy in 6th grade and it was the best decision I could have made. My coaches realized I was good at the sport, and I started playing tournaments around the country. I won district and state tournaments and also represented my state in nationals. It never mattered to me if I was playing a tournament or just practicing because just being on the court and hitting is my favorite feeling in the world. If I had gotten the right opportunities, my first choice would have been to be a tennis player. Coming to New York has also let me tick of something I have wanted to do for so long. Last year I got to see my first Grand Slam match at the US open.

My decision to study forensic science is a very unusual thing to most people in India including the people in my family. It's not because they have anything against the profession but because India lacks in this field, most people you come across need a little explaining about the field. My ultimate aim in life is to study and possibly work here as a forensic scientist in a lab and take everything I learn back to my country. My dream is to somehow improve the situation of forensic science in India. I hope the next few years of my life in the United States remain the best experience of my life. 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

How to Cite This:

Berry, R.(2015). "Education For Girls" Digital Spectrum: First Year Digital Essays, Stories, and Projects, 2, 1. Retrieved from https://johnjay.digication.com/digital_spectrum/RAGEENE-BERRY


Edited by Luc Pitre

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.