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Girls growing up in poverty often have to work to help provide for their family or are expected to marry young. Parents of girls living in poverty may want their children to marry wealthy men and help the family escape its poverty. Those girls who are lucky enough to be educated often stop studying after marriage and start taking care of the household and kids. This often means that girls from low-income families drop out at a much higher rate than boys. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The world is positively teeming with ways to keep girls from getting an education. A girl’s most basic challenge is just being born female, which increases her likelihood of dropping out of school by one-third, compared with boys. The odds also worsen if she is born into poverty: only half of the 144 million children of primary school age who are poor enroll in primary school, and only three in ten complete it.
Several factors push girls out of school. In some countries, the problem is a lack of funding. Other countries, like Pakistan, have no laws against child labor. Some parents believe that their daughters should not be educated because it reduces the amount of time they can spend doing household chores or earning money. This is just an introduction to the topic: you do not need to tell how to overcome obstacles to girls’ education and how to make it work in any particular country. Child marriage has detrimental effects on girls’ health, education, and income-generating capacity. It can also increase the likelihood of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Girls are more likely to be pulled out of school and into domestic work. They miss classes, fall behind in their studies, and lose confidence in their abilities. Most girls around the world grow up with a sense of responsibility to their families, not only because this is expected of them but also because their survival often depends on it. Sometimes the obstacles to girls going to school are obvious, such as war or terrorism, or a lack of roads in the area she lives. Other times, it’s more subtle, such as a lack of female teachers and female role models at school, or gender-biased curriculums and textbooks.
Girls are struggling in school because of a lack of awareness in their communities and a lack of access to education. Alternatively, because of fear that girls will be abused or married off, many families keep their girls home from school, perpetuating the problem. Other issues include the lack of sanitary latrines and places to wash. All these issues have solutions that can help girls get the education they need to overcome obstacles and succeed in life.