Educating the Girl Child
Unique contributions through education and opportunity
The Baha'i teachings make it clear that, when given a choice, priority should go to the education of women and girls—in part because women are responsible for raising the next generation and “it is through educated mothers that the benefits of knowledge can be most effectively and rapidly diffused throughout society.”
Progress has been made worldwide in getting more girls into primary schools, but there is still significant work to do in making sure that girls—especially in developing countries—have access to secondary and tertiary education.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
What is the Convention on the Rights of the Child?
The CRC is one of the key international instruments that protects and promotes the rights of children (both boys and girls) worldwide to an education—as well as to other rights like protection from violence, exploitive work, and recruitment into armed forces.
According to a fact sheet from UNICEF, the CRC “establishes in international law that States Parties must ensure that all children—without discrimination in any form—benefit from special protection measures and assistance; have access to services such as education and health care; can develop their personalities, abilities and talents to the fullest potential; grow up in an environment of happiness, love and understanding; and are informed about and participate in, achieving their rights in an accessible and active manner.”
What is the history and status of the CRC?
The CRC was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1989 by a unanimous vote and was enshrined in international law in 1990. The United States and Somalia are the only two countries that have not ratified this treaty.
How are the Baha'is engaging in the CRC?
In the United States, the Baha'i Office of External Affairs is working to bring about ratification and implementation of the CRC through a diverse network of advocates. The aim of this effort is to educate communities about the Convention, to create a groundswell of national support for the treaty, and to advocate directly with the U.S. government on behalf of ratification.
How can I get involved?
Learn more about the CRC and efforts to support its aims: http://childrightscampaign.org/
… it is incumbent upon the girls of this glorious era to be fully versed in the various branches of knowledge, in sciences and the arts and all the wonders of this pre-eminent time, that they may then educate their children and train them from their earliest days in the ways of perfection.— Compilation on Women, Baha'i World Center
The advancement of civilization requires the full participation of every human being. For women to be able to fully participate in world affairs, they must be given the requisite tools, level of education and opportunities, of which they are often deprived. Through education, women will make unique contributions to the creation of a just world order: an order characterized by vigor, cooperation, harmony, and a degree of compassion never before witnessed in history.— Baha'i International Community