HOW GIRLS EDUCATION CAN IMPACT ON ECONOMIC GROWTH?
The effects of female education cannot be ignored in any area of life. Be it social, economic, or political arena, educated women play a vital role everywhere. But the economic impact of educating girls has always been under debate. Whether investing in girl’s education can lead to growth constitutes a major portion of the research conducted by many international development programs. And the answers to all the studies coincide with the fact that indeed educating women enhances a country’s development. The level and density of female education positively correlate with growth. Moreover, human development researches have also proven that there is a strong link between educated girls and international development. There was noticeable financial progress especially in impoverished areas all because of introducing girl’s schools.
Well, it is established that educated females contribute to economic growth, but how does their education plays a vital role is a question we answer today. The first and foremost reason is clear that education leads to women contributing to GDP through the income they earn. But this is not the only reason as there are many other ways through which these empowered females lead to overall economic growth. With their empowering potential, they lead to numerous start-ups, strategies, and innovations that would have never been discovered without them. Moreover, by educating girls the effects on future economic growth is undeniable. They heavily influence the generations to come and also lead to population control. That is why the education of girls is one of the main explanatory variables behind the different rates of development in different countries. That is why better learning opportunities are spring up for females. From new schools, girl’s scholarships, to female-oriented training programs and initiative, many countries are realizing the power of women in the economy. Here is why:
- Income contribution to GDP:
The individual’s benefits of educating girls are normally visible as the income they will earn when they find jobs. This also benefits economic growth as women’s education leads to an increase in production and income levels. If girls are educated more they will contribute to the economy by earning more. This way the GDP of a country will rise. This is why those who invest in female education not only benefit themselves but benefit the whole country. They will not only receive net monetary gains in the form of income throughout their lifetime but also contribute to the continuous development of the economy.
As per an education economist at the World Bank, Harry Patrinos the success of education as per the private rate of return is universal. This is especially true for women as they can get a higher return by 1.2% than men if they invest in education. Girls can increases their incomes by 10 to 20% if they get one extra year of schooling which is 5% more than the corresponding increase in boys’ wages with an extra year of education. So these individual monetary gains accumulate to enhance the overall economic production of a country.
While as per research those countries which fail to invest in their women have a slower rate of GDP growth by 0.4–0.9% which is solely accounted for by variances in the gap in male and female education.
- Higher labor participation rate:
With more Girls in school in the future, the chances of an increased labor participation rate are high. This means that as females are educated more they tend to join the labor force. This means that the economy can optimally utilize its resources. Human capital investments are increased which will improve future employment rates. With more labor force aimed specifically at educated women, bigger dividends can be produced. As per the Cross Country Empirical Study, it is proven that female education is a significant factor inefficiency and leads to annual per capita income growth. So more schooling for girls becomes an efficient economic choice when it comes to the allocation of resources as well. Those countries that under-invest in this area not only tend to grow more slowly but looking holistically they also face a dearth of employment. So the opportunity cost of not investing in female education is not only lower GDP but also labor participation and mobility as well. Thus by investing in educational opportunities for the girls and economy can use its population in the best way possible to produce, consume and grow more.
- Enhances efficiency:
Education not only increases the quantity of labor force it improves the quality as well. With more educated women the labor force becomes more competent as well as more competitive. This enhances efficiency and further increases output. Female education has not only shown a positive correlation with higher incomes but has also shown direct relations with enhanced productivity. This is because girls add a newer perspective to the workforce. They bring with themselves a new set of skills that lead to better strategies and innovations. But investing in them their potential is realized which considerably enhances efficiency. As per Lawrence Summers a notable economist; investing in educating girls can be the highest-return investment accessible to the developing world.
- Equitability of the distribution of wealth:
To further enhance economic growth, girl’s education improves the equitability of the distribution of wealth. With more educated females the vicious cycle of poverty can be broken as they can better educate their children and provide for them. Their generation will be able to earn and they can finally step out of the disadvantaged impoverished lifestyle. Many studies prove that lower gender disparity in schooling does correlate with lower income disparity.
- Reduces poverty:
The yields from girls’ education are not only substantial in terms of employment or GDP but also in terms of poverty. This is because by closing down gender disparity in education, households can improve their living standard as more members can earn and contribute toward financial needs. This will not only reduce absolute poverty but in the long run, can also decrease relative poverty. That is why one of the U.N. Millennium Developmental Goals is to reduce this gender gap of education in developing countries. With more educated girl not only their personal earning potential will increase but the whole community will benefit as they contribute and reinvest 90% of what they earn into their families. Their improved literacy can lead to a 25% increase in wages which will be very beneficial for their generations to come.
- Less population:
Moreover, educated females tend to have fewer but more educated and healthier children. This reduces the burden on them as well as the economy and improves standards of living. For each extra year of a female’s education, their child gets an extra 0.32 years on average. This is because educated women are more empowered and play a greater economical role in their families. Furthermore, a girl’s schooling delays early marriage as well which not only has social benefits but can help lower levels of population growth. This subsequently reduces pressures on the household, overall economy as well as climate.
The verdict is girl’s education is the path forward not only socially but also economically. For economic growth female education has become necessary as it is a consistent determinant of progress in terms of both income, production, efficiency, mortality, democracy and equity. The power of female education on the economy is undeniable. So investing in female capital is not only the right thing to do morally but also a smart for development. So let us move forward and collaborate to articulate a more ambitious girl’s school targets and eradicate this inequality in education. Through this, we can map a way forward which will truly catalyze the transformative potential that our women hold!