From the PEN Weekly News Blast
The third annual "Because I Am A Girl" report from Plan International finds that countries with high levels of institutional discrimination against girls and women are also the least developed, costing the world's poorest countries billions of dollars a year in lost revenue, writes CBC News. A mere one percent rise in female secondary school enrollment boosts a country's annual per capita income growth by 0.3 percent. The report gives as an example Kenya, whose economy could add $3 billion annually if the country educated its girls to secondary school level. In tough economic times, however, girls in poor countries are the first to be pulled from school, as families struggle to pay for books, uniforms, and other costs.
The report's global ten-point plan calls for giving girls education, better jobs, access to land or property, and leadership opportunities, among other actions. "Study after study confirms that if young women are economically active, their country's economy grows and all members of their family benefit," said Rosemary McCarney, president of the Canadian division of Plan International. "Investing in girls delivers a higher return than any other investment made in a country's development, and yet this isn't happening.
That's a huge loss for everyone."