By Jane Friedman
November 27th, 2012
In our Fall 2012 issue, guest editor Marie Arana writes about traveling to the mining town of La Rinconada, which sits on a glacial peak more than 18,000 feet up in the Peruvian Andes. She went there to write about one brave child for a feature film. The movie, which will be released in May 2013, has spurred a worldwide international campaign to raise public awareness about the urgency of educating the world’s female young. Of more than 100 million out-of-school children around the globe, the overwhelming majority are girls. What is it that makes them worth the investment? Marie Arana writes:
I first learned of the transformational power of girls’ education from a 2009 Harvard report on social research, but many in the academy had heard of it long before. Hard, rigorous data [proves] that in pockets around the globe, ten- to fourteen-year-old girls might be the key to breaking cycles of poverty. Educating a nation’s girl-children, as it turned out, shrank overpopulation, raised overall incomes, and could change the fabric of a whole nation. By targeting girls, a village’s productivity could be made to go up; the incidence of AIDS, down. Literacy would increase; infant mortality, plummet. As one corporate leader in America put it: Educating this segment of the population is a country’s “best possible return on investment” with far-reaching implications for the global economy. In short, by educating girls, you can change the world.
Fall 2012: Female Conscience