Did you know a girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more income as an adult?

In many ways, girls’ education is significant to ‘Balance for Better’. A 2018 World Bank report revealed that 132 million girls around the world, between the ages of 6 and 17 can’t go to school or remain in school. While we continue to explore ways to provide these girls with the education they rightly deserve, let’s take a look at five significant milestones in the history of women’s education around the world.

  1. In 1727, the first girl school was founded in the United States by the Ursuline Sisters and it is called the Ursuline Academy.
The Ursuline Academy logo. Image: Ursuline Academy

The school is rich in history and is characterised with a number of firsts — the first retreat center of ladies, the first school to offer classes for African-American girls and the first free school.

The first college for women opened in the United Kingdom in 1849 by Elizabeth Jesser Reid, a renowned social reformer and activist.

The Ursuline Academy logo. Image: Ursuline Academy

It started as a leased house with a number of Reid’s friends and male trustees working on the management committee and more acting as teaching professors. The college expanded and developed until 1900 and in 1909 it was named Bedford College and became a formally recognised college for women.

1869 came and the Edinburgh Seven happened.

The Ursuline Academy logo. Image: Ursuline Academy

Sophia Jex Blake was rejected from the University of Edinburgh for no other reason than being a woman. This not only got her outraged but also determined to challenge the situation. So she contacted a number of Scottish news outlets and led women to sign her petition. Two women first joined her. Sophia’s petition gained national attention which mounted pressure on the University. Five women then took the Edinburgh University entrance exam, passed exceptionally and were the first group of female students to be matriculated at any British University.

London University awarded the first degrees to women in 1880.

The Ursuline Academy logo. Image: Ursuline Academy

Four women received the official recognition for achieving a Bachelor’s degree from the University of London, which was after the school received a supplemental charter that allowed it to award degrees to women.

In 2015, the Let Girls Learn Initiative was created.

The Ursuline Academy logo. Image: Ursuline Academy

During Obama’s second term in office, Michelle Obama launched the Let Girls Learn initiative with the goal of increasing the accessibility of education for adolescent girls and empowering them to reach their full potential.

Here at Paga, we are immensely proud to be working with a number of organisations committed to promoting schooling of women and girls in Nigeria. One such organisation we are delighted to be a part of is the Aspilos foundation, working to educate women in software development. This year in collaboration with Aspilos, we are ensuring five women are admitted into AboCoders academics in Niger and Kaduna states while providing them internship placements with our engineering team in Paga amongst other opportunities.

Moving Forward

It is worth remembering the amount of work that has been put into women’s education and how much more needs to be done. By celebrating women achievements, raising awareness on their strengths and promoting their rights to higher education, we can balance for better in education for every woman across the world.

Educate a girl, Change the World.

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