Many believe that women are the key in solving the world’s primary development challenges. No shock there. The Nike Foundation even gave it a Nike name: The Girl Effect. So, Nike, why girls? With all of your resources, couldn’t you spread the wealth?
We sought out where we could make the greatest impact. We found it in adolescent girls. Invest in them, the theory goes, and you will unleash a powerful ripple effect. That realization began our focused investment. Four years on, we’ve found that girls are the unexpected answer.
I love stats. Here are a few to support the girl effect.
• Ensure a girl has seven or more years of education and she will marry four years later and have 2.2 fewer children.
• When 10 percent more girls go to secondary school, the country’s economy grows by 3 percent.
• When an educated girl earns income she reinvests 90 percent in her family, compared to 35 percent for a boy.
• When women have the skills to participate in public life, government corruption declines.
This fall, we’re headed to the Everest region (that’s THE Mount Everest) of Nepal to build a hostel for girls. More importantly, we are there to empower a community of women to complete their educational journey. Approximately 70% of girls drop out of school after grade 10 because the higher secondary school, located in the district headquarters, is too difficult to reach both geographically and financially. We’d like to change that.
You go girl.