What is the key to economic growth? You’ll get different answers to this question depending on who you ask. However, chances are not many of them will point you in the ballpark of girl child education, which ought to be right up there among other key factors. That may sound hard to believe, but it’s quite rightly the case that girls getting an education is one of the top ways to transform our economy, and here’s how that’s so.
- It could boost GDP by 10% or more
In its simplest definition, gross domestic product (GDP) gives us a picture of the size of our economy and how it’s performing, and there’s much to gain for India in terms of GDP.
A Citi report finds that educating girls could increase GDP by 10% by 2030, that is if the entirety of our girls sees out their girls higher secondary school education. This bump in GDP is translated from the same research which finds that the ROI for investing in girl-child education could reach up to 280%.
A positive turn for GDP bodes well for our country as this generally means an increase in:
- Goods and services
When GDP goes up, the spending power of firms follows suit as well. This results in businesses increasing their financial might and they can plow back more in the country.
- Educated girls can plug labor shortages
If a TeamLease India report is to be trusted, then India currently has a staffing shortage in the region of 15 to 25% and rising. This shortage has affected some major sectors in our country, including but not limited to:
The report further lays the finger of blame on fleeing migrant workers in light of the pandemic, but educated girls could rise to take their place and fill the labor shortage at large.
By studying at the best girls school in Madurai, girls can expand their skill sets, and even gain the foundation needed to pursue courses in STEM among other high-shortage niches. As a result, the country can plug its employee shortages and industries can fire on all cylinders to keep the economy rolling at full steam.
- Education enables girls to pay higher taxes
The gender pay in India continues to paint the picture of the vast difference in earnings between women and men, and it has increased to 62.5% in recent times. This widening disparity in income inequality is due to a variety of factors such as:
- Lagging female-to-male literacy raio
- Fewer women representation in parliament
- Ineffective equal pay legislation
All of these instigating issues can be remedied by one solution: educating girls, with getting a higher secondary school for girls an important springboard in that process.
When girls get a good secondary school education, they can competently and confidently pursue high-paying degrees at the university. Afterward, they can similarly enjoy higher-paying careers, which consequently results in the government collecting more revenue in terms of income tax. This surplus revenue can be channeled into infrastructure, healthcare, and other key development agendas that can propel our economy to newer heights.
- More capable lawmakers make it into office
No country in the world, let alone India, can achieve success if its political system is not working at full speed. When this aspect of government isn’t at its best, economic growth stagnates and may even head into a decline or recession.
It is therefore important to ensure all hands are on deck to sharpen our country’s prowess. The best way to see to that is by ensuring girls also get the necessary educational foundation to ascend into power, and take on more intellectual-based political roles.
Their case is further compounded by the fact that women have been shown to make better leaders, and perhaps more crucially, more effective lawmakers. Studies find that women’s ability to compromise ensures they make better policies and at a much faster rate than men. In fact, one Georgetown University study found that female legislators in the mid-1990s US congress sponsored and passed more bills than their male counterparts.
Most of the bills prioritized issues connected to women, serving to uplift the underprivileged gender and increase more opportunities for women. India can trace a similar trajectory by educating girls from a young age, forming competent lawmakers who influence important political aspects such as:
- Trade reforms and restrictions
- Tax policies
- Environmental regulations
All in all, educated girls can make competent leaders of tomorrow, in whose hands we can trust to see the fulfillment of our country’s economic and development agenda.
- Educated girls put the right people into office
48% of the Indian population is female, according to reports by the World Bank. In other words, that means close to half of India’s electorate is made up of women.
Not every educated woman in India can rise into a political office. So aside from women taking on a role in political leadership themselves, they can also chip in to elect transformative leaders who can spur economic progress.
Educated women develop a better awareness of politics and hence can make well-informed voting decisions and develop a knack for discerning leadership choices based on progressive ideas and agendas. Moreover, they can help transmit this awareness to their families and social circles, as well as their professional networks.
Crucially, compared to men who have received a similar level of education, studies find that learned women tend to be less inclined to support militarism and extremism, thus ensuring the better political and economic stability of the country. This in turn ensures a favorable economic climate that attracts foreign investment.
Education also spurs technological progress
Educating the girl child can help the country grow in many ways. Last but not least, it catalyzes technological breakthroughs and stimulates entrepreneurship. You need not look past revolutionary physicist Dr. Shirly Jackson, whose past-century research was able to inspire many technologies society relies on today such as fiber optic cables, solar cells, and touch-tone telephones, to name a few. We may not enjoy the same technological benefits we do today if women such as these did not get an education.