Why Should Girls Go To School?

We've been asking, why should girls go to school to bring attention to the importance of girls' education today on International Day of the Girl.  We've heard some amazing answers. An entire third grade class answered us and many Firelight friends have posted on Facebook and tweeted us.

A screenshot from Firelight's Facebook page with comments about why girls should go to school

It's sparked some great conversation in the office too...

"Everyone should get to go to school, boys and girls." Aili Langseth

"Because it gives them the power to believe in themselves." Heidi Lidtke

"Girls should go to school because learning is the greatest way to find out what you're truly capable of being, and girls can be so many great things." Robin Dixon

"Feminism is about women having the choice to live their dreams. School is a place where a girl learns to dream." Serena Kelsch

"If you educate a girl you educate a future family." Joop Rubens

"Why is it so important for girls to go to school? Because they want to. I think that's reason enough." Evelyn Brown


Firelight Director, Peter Laugharn, took us another direction. He reminded us of the important decisions parents have made in the past to keep their daughters in school...

An African woman and American man stand leaning into each other on a beach

"I am very grateful to my parents-in-law, Silas Sekimonyo and Madeleine Kagaju, for their determination to educate all their ten children, and in particular their seventh daughter Marie, even though they were living in a remote rural area in Rwanda in the 1970s.  If they had not sent Marie to school, she would never have learned French or English, she would not have learned that she could make a career in international development, and she would not have gotten a UN job in Central African Republic, where we met in 1994.  In short, if Marie's parents had not invested in her schooling, Marie and I would never have met, and my life would be so much less complete."


a black and white photo of a Rwandan family standing together outdoors


There's a tremendous community of support for girls' education. It's been remarkable to read your comments and inspiration.

Still, 66 million girls are out of school around the world (UNESCO).

How can we turn this support into substantial change for girls and all children to go to school and stay in school?  We ask ourselves this often and the answer is in communities. We see our African partners create opportunities where they haven't been before. By working with families, they find the root causes to the problem and address them. Maybe a family doesn't have the money to pay for school fees, or older siblings are expected to stay home to care for younger ones while parents work, or maybe an older sibling has taken on the responsibilities of the household instead of finishing their schooling.

These are all situations that won't change without support. Community organizations have relationships in the community to reach those most vulnerable and connect them with the resources and support needed to help all girls be in school to grow up and become the great leaders, business women, educators and thoughtful people they are destined to become.

This international day of the girl please show your support for girls around the world. Start a conversation about girls' education, share one of our blog posts of girls' stories or one of the many other ways of showing your support. It really does make a difference.