Why Investing In Girls Is The Way Of The Future

by Yii-Huei Phang

Why Investing In Girls Is The Way Of The Future

Imagine what it’d be like to live in a society where young girls don’t go to school. Maybe school is too expensive, or a four-hour long walk away. Or maybe these girls don’t have access to sanitary pads, and refuse to go to school to hide their embarrassment. This is the harsh reality for more than 60 million girls around the world. Barriers such as the cost of education, gender norms or child marriage impedes a girl’s basic fundamental right to receive an education. Consequently, we see communities plagued by illiteracy, exploitation and poverty.

However, in the social enterprise sphere, emerging businesses like Inspirationery and Tsuno are raising awareness and helping the plight of women.

Inspirationery has a beautiful stationery line sourced from eco-friendly materials and vegetable inks. Not only do these notebooks provide attractive weapons of choice for study motivation, but 50% of its profits goes directly towards programs that empower women and girls through education initiatives implemented by Plan International Australia and Care Australia.

Tsuno sells sustainable bamboo fibre sanitary pads, and the packaging is certainly aesthetically pleasing; featuring the work of different artists. Tsuno has partnered with One Girl, an organisation that aims to alleviate the marginalisation of girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda by providing education scholarships. One Girl also provides access to sanitary pads, as lack of sanitary products can pose as a significant barrier to education. Often, most women and girls in economically developed societies don’t think twice about foregoing school or events due to their period, let alone worrying about stocking up on pads or tampons. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, one in 10 African girls skip school during their period, and some drop out of schooling due to the lack of access and cost of menstrual hygiene products.

Now you might be wondering; why girls?  To cut to the chase, when girls around the world are empowered, the whole community benefits. When we invest in educating girls, we break the vicious cycle of poverty as they are more likely to receive healthcare and have fewer children, or perhaps go on to be budding entrepreneurs in the micro-finance field. Each additional year of schooling that a girl receives, can ultimately boost her future income by 10-20%. Furthermore, educated women often become capable of playing a greater economic role in their families and communities as they tend to reinvest up to 90% of their earnings, back into their families.

By purchasing or consuming ethical goods and services from social enterprises such as Tsuno or Inspirationery, you can help one girl at a time.

If you’re interested in more information and research, take a look at this article.