WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
UNICEF - Depriving girls of secondary education translates to a loss of at least US$500 million for Afghan economy in the last 12 months
Keeping girls out of secondary school costs Afghanistan 2.5% of its annual GDP, according to a new analysis by UNICEF.
If the current cohort of three million girls were able to complete their secondary education and participate in the job market, girls and women would contribute at least $5.4 billion to Afghanistan’s economy.
UNICEF’s estimates do not take into account the non-financial impacts of denying girls access to education, such as upcoming shortages of female teachers, doctors and nurses, the ensuing impact on decreasing attendance for girls in primary school and increasing health costs related to adolescent pregnancy. The estimates also do not account for the broader benefits of education, including overall educational attainment, reduced child marriage and reduced infant mortality.
“The decision on March 23, not to allow girls back to secondary school was shocking and deeply disappointing. Not only does it violate girls’ fundamental right to education, it exposes them to heightened anxiety, and greater risk of exploitation and abuse, including child trafficking, early and forced marriage,” said UNICEF Afghanistan Representative, Dr. Mohamed Ayoya. “Now, this new analysis clearly articulates the terrible economic impact of this decision on the country’s GDP.”
Even before the Taliban seized power on August 15 last year, Afghanistan struggled with over 4.2 million children out of school; 60 per cent of whom were girls. Although the potential costs of not educating boys and girls alike are high in terms of lost earnings, not educating girls is especially costly because of the relationship between educational attainment and girls delaying marriage and childbearing, participating in the workforce, making choices about their own future and investing more in the health and education of their own children later in life. The analysis indicates that Afghanistan will be unable to regain the gross domestic product (GDP) lost during the transition and reach its true potential productivity without fulfilling girls’ rights to access and complete secondary school education.
“UNICEF wants to see every girl and boy across Afghanistan in school and learning,” said Dr. Ayoya. “We will not stop advocating until that goal is achieved. Not only is education a right for every child, it is the foundation for future growth in Afghanistan.”
In addition to girls not being able not to return to secondary schools, UNICEF is also struggling to reach adolescent girls with the vital services they need, such as anaemia prevention support and menstrual health and hygiene, which UNICEF used to provide at schools.
Child malnutrition is also increasing. In June 2021, 30,000 children were treated for severe acute malnutrition in Afghanistan; in June 2022, 57,000 children were admitted — a 90 per cent increase. Children are being obliged to work to support their families instead of going to school which is the safest place they could be.
In the last 12 months, schools-based health and nutrition services have reached 272,386 adolescent girls with iron and folic acid supplements. So, adolescent girls’ inability to continue their education compromises their health.
“Afghanistan remains one of the most complex and multidimensional worldwide children’s crises,” said Dr. Ayoya. “This is a pivotal juncture for a generation of children in Afghanistan. Girls’ rights are under attack; their childhoods are marred by deprivation. That is why, despite challenges in the operating environment, UNICEF is scaling up, delivering, and achieving results like never before. As we do this, we want to say to the people of Afghanistan: we could not do what we do without your trust and support. We also thank our donors and partners for their generosity to date, but we urge them to continue their lifesaving support to children – especially with winter around the corner.”
For more information please contact:
Sam Mort, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Afghanistan, Tel: +93 799 98 7110, email@example.com
Multimedia content can be found HERE.
Note on methodology: The basic idea behind wage premiums is that the economic impact of any level of education can be measured by the effect of schooling on labour productivity and wages. To capture the financial returns of education, observable wage differences between workers with different education levels in the labour market can be used.
For this analysis, UNICEF used the estimates provided in the World Bank’s 2018 study ‘Managed labor migration in Afghanistan.’
For further information, a three-page executive summary can be found here.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org
Latest News from
WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
NHS Confederation responds to the Chancellor's comments on public sector spending04/10/2022 10:25:00
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, responds to the Chancellor's comments on public sector spending.
NHS “dental deserts” persist in rural and deprived communities – LGA analysis03/10/2022 09:25:00
New analysis by the Local Government Association reveals a growing number of “dental deserts” across the country with more deprived or rural local authority areas having fewer NHS dentists than those in more affluent urban areas.
Union leaders call on PM to rule out “crippling” cuts to public services29/09/2022 16:05:00
Union leaders have today (Thursday) called on the Prime Minister and Chancellor to provide a “cast-iron assurance” they will not make further spending cuts to public services.
TUC welcomes Labour plan for fully funded breakfast clubs29/09/2022 12:15:00
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady recently (27 September 2022) responded to the announcement by Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson that a Labour government will introduce fully funded breakfast clubs for every primary school in England.
Liz Truss must reverse her budget to stabilise the economy - TUC29/09/2022 10:33:00
TUC head of economics Kate Bell yesterday commented on the Bank of England’s emergency intervention to protect credit flow in the aftermath of the mini-budget.
CBI responds to Leader of the Opposition's speech28/09/2022 16:05:00
CBI yesterday responded to Leader of the Opposition's speech.
TUC welcomes Labour proposal for a new public energy champion28/09/2022 13:33:00
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady yesterday commented on the announcement by Labour leader Keir Starmer of proposals for a new publicly owned energy champion called Great British Energy.
"Some energy companies are falling drastically short of the mark": Citizens Advice responds to Ofgem market compliance review28/09/2022 10:25:00
Citizens Advice has responded to Ofgem’s review of supplier practice in helping people struggling with bills.