We recently finished reading Stones into Schools, the follow-up book to Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. Although this is not a book review site, we'd like to recommend both books to anyone interested in reading about efforts to improve literacy and education among boys and girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Mortenson is a North American outdoorsman who was attempting to reach the summit of the K2 mountain in Pakistan when he got lost and was rescued by villagers of an isolated community high up in the mountains. While recovering with the help of the villages, Mortenson learned of the lack of school in the community and promised to build them a school upon his return. The amazing journey that follows has to be read to be believed! Mortenson's passion for education children (especially girls) is infectious - his goal is to promote change and development in communities from within by educating girls. Check out some stats and quotes on girls' education from Stones into Schools:
-Increasing the share of women with a secondary education by 1% boosts annual per-capita income by .3% - the World Bank
-A 2000 Study in Brazil found that literate women have an average of 2.5 children, the average for illiterate women is 6 children. -UNESCO
- The mother's education is often the single most important influence on women's survival. Educated women learn how to keep their kids healthy, use health services, improve nutrition and sanitation and take advantage of their own increased earning capability. Girls who stay in school also marry later when they are better able to bear and care for children- Council on Foreign Relations "What works for Girls' Education: Evidence on Policies from the Developing World."
- By increasing health-care knowledge and reducing the number of pregnancies, female education significantly reduces the risk of maternal mortality-World Bank
- Educated women are more likely to insist on education for their own children. Their children study as much as two hours more each day than children of illiterate mothers and stay in school longer.- Council on Foreign Relations" What works for Girls' Education:Evidence on Policies from the Developing World."
- Educated women are more likely to participate in political discussions ,meetings and decision making-Council on Foreign Relations. "What works for Girls' Education:Evidence on Policies from the Developing World."
- As women are educated and approach parity with men, research shows that governments and other institutions function better and with less corruption. - Council on Foreign Relations "What works for Girls' Education:Evidence on Policies from the Developing World."