“Social progress can be measured by the social

position of the female sex.”

–Karl Marx.

The quote above, said in the mid 1800s, speaks volumes about what characterises the gap between the rich and poor countries of the world. There is a clear correlation of social progress and gender equality in most developed countries.

There are countries like Saudi Arabia, that have high growth rates, but they can hardly be said to be “developed” lacking any structures of democracy or accountability of politicians to the masses.

Mao ZeDong also said: “Women hold up half the sky.” The saying of Napoleon Bonaparte has become a cliché now, “Give me an educated mother, I shall promise you the birth of a civilized, educated nation”, but girls’ education is all the more important because they are the ones who are going to bring up our next generations.

Research also suggests that men who marry women with the same level of education have happier and healthier families. There is research that says that girls, given the chance, outperform boys in secondary and higher education.

Yet they are treated as a burden or a liability in our society, once that cannot see the potential for health and economic prosperity when a woman is healthy, has choices and is happy.