HP is the first funder of a scholarship that will help female students around the world get a college degree

“If you want to change the world, invest in an adolescent girl.”

That was the message of the 2011 report, Girls Grow, produced by the non-partisan think tank Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

“An adolescent girl stands at the doorway of adulthood. In that moment, much is decided. If she stays in school, remains healthy, and gains real skills, she will marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and earn an income that she’ll invest back into her family.”[1]

The report was focused on girls in rural economies, but the principle of investing in girls to advance the overall welfare of society can be applied to any type of economy.

[small_ad_left]Indeed, according to the 2011 OECD Report on the Gender Initiative: Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship, “girls have on average better grades” in OECD nations. The report also notes, “In terms of science literacy, there are no significant gender differences. But young women are much less likely than young men to choose Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) as field of study at graduate level; the share of women in these fields further declines at the post-graduate level.”[2]

EDUCATING GIRLS = CASCADING BENEFITS

Thus, a major part of the overall solution to sustainable and equitable human development is bridging the economic divide that runs along gender lines, particularly because of the positive spillover that financial inclusion produces. When investments are made in women, there’s a multiplier effect that happens more often than when similar investments are made in men: When women experience economic growth, their families and communities are much more likely to come along for the ride.

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Martin Smith
www.justmeans.com

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Eco-Living, Consumption & Travel, Education, women, Gender Equality, HP, Hewlett-Packard, corporate social responsibilty, University of the People, Gender Rights

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