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The Importance of Education

By Chet Jain Founder of FEDU.org (In Collaboration with Andrew Koved)

I’m generally skeptical when people say “Oh, I read this study about this, that, and the other thing”.
That all being said, I want to share with you a couple numbers, and quote from a Macalester study on education.  In the United States,  20.1 Million Women have Bachelors degrees versus 18.7 Million Men, and 10.6 Million Women have Master’s degrees or higher, compared to 10.5 Million Men.  Additionally, Jen Gratz from Macalaster says “This education starts with what children learn from their parents and from what they learn in the first few years of their lives. This initial education impacts the rest of their lives, and inherently society’s future”
On International Women’s Day –or whichever day that I actually post this– I want to take a moment to discuss the importance of women, and education.
As the numbers above suggest, women are getting higher educations in the United States at a pace that has now eclipsed men.  Moreover, the education of a parent –especially mothers– has an enormous impact on their child, and subsequently the world.  It is no longer acceptable to view education as a short term investment, because what you learn at school will affect the world many years into the future.
I founded FEDU because I wanted to enable education for all, because I wanted people with big dreams to have even greater achievements, and really, because I believe that granting access to education for people regardless of socioeconomic factors, location and gender is the right thing to do.
International Women’s Day is a day to remember that funding education for a young women now has the possibility to change the world immensely far into the future.  My own mother was an incredible influence in my own education and life, and I credit her with being the foundation for much of my success.
I worry that there is a disconnect globally between the importance placed on girls’ education and the desire to change the world, because to wish for one is to want for both.  I would hate to put “society’s future” in jeopardy due to perceived unimportance and inattention.
Take time today to think about the women who have made an impact in your education –be they your mother, an aunt, a teacher or a friend.  Wouldn’t the world be better off with more of these people? I think so.  Happy International Women’s Day!

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