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The MacArthur Foundation and Education » Women's Courage

The MacArthur Foundation and Education

March 7th, 2013 by mvtrione Leave a reply »

As these posts have discussed over the past few weeks, education gender inequality in developing countries is often clearly manifest in the education system that values boys over girls.  In many countries, it is lucky for a girl to enter secondary school, if she has access to education at all.  Education is a powerful indicator for a girl’s age at marriage, number of children, economic autonomy, and even health.  A dilemma, however, is granting girls access to education in places where families are too poor to send them to school, or where there are few opportunities for women beyond domestic work.  Organizations such as the MacArthur Foundation have prioritized girls’ education in countries such as Nigeria, India, and Uganda where they fund innovative solutions to girls’ learning and access to education.

In recent decades, there has been significant progress toward the goal of universal primary education as a civil or human right. More children enrolling in and completing primary education has increased demand for secondary education, but it is very difficult for children to remain in school, especially in developing countries and particularly for girls.   Money and home responsibilities are major barriers.  MacArthur’s investment in secondary education  strengthens other Foundation initiatives such as reducing maternal mortality and promote young women’s reproductive health. It creates possibilities for girls who have suffered human rights violations in conflict-ridden zones such as northern Uganda to be reintegrated into society. Secondary education also expands opportunities for female entrants into higher education in places like Nigeria, where MacArthur has worked for over ten years with some of the country’s leading universities.  The MacArthur Foundation has a lot of funds to distribute worldwide, but its choice to invest in women’s health and education is especially important.

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5 comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Thanks for your post, Maddy. I didn’t know that there’s a movement to recognize education as a right. While I definitely agree, I wonder what the negative implications could be if there isn’t funding for educational systems. If all are required to be in school funding must dramatically increase otherwise the quality will decrease. Also, maybe school retention can increase if girls are paid to participate in after school programs that benefit their communities. I know of a few local programs that provide this option for youth in urban neighborhoods.

  2. chierika says:

    Great post Maddy, I am actually familiar with the MacArthur Foundation’s research based educational initiatives that go more into tracking language learning and literacy rates. I think that investing in education for girls while helping researchers improve and track education outcomes is an equitable allocation of resources. I agree with the post above in that women that are educated should also try and improve their own communities. The “brain drain” from developing countries is a harsh reality that ends up undermining the efforts of these educational initiatives in the first place.

  3. chierika says:

    Great post Maddy, I am actually familiar with the MacArthur Foundation’s research based educational initiatives that go more into tracking language learning and literacy rates. I think that investing in education for girls while helping researchers improve and track education outcomes is an equitable allocation of resources. I agree with the post above in that women that are educated should also try and improve their own communities. The “brain drain” from developing countries is a harsh reality that ends up undermining the efforts of these educational initiatives in the first place.

  4. chierika says:

    Great post Maddy, I am actually familiar with the MacArthur Foundation’s research based educational initiatives that go more into tracking language learning and literacy rates. I think that investing in education for girls while helping researchers improve and track education outcomes is an equitable allocation of resources. I agree with the post above in that women that are educated should also try and improve their own communities. The “brain drain” from developing countries is a harsh reality that ends up undermining the efforts of these educational initiatives in the first place.

  5. robsan24 says:

    The MacArthur Foundation supports children financially to get their education? While I do think this is awesome I would hope that they have a follow up program or some sort of way of getting the children they invest in to invest back into their communities.

    I do hope that the trend of global policy is one that begins to view education as a human right. As you pointed out education has such an impact on health, finances, marriage and so many other things, that if not viewed as a basic right will result in the handicapping of certain populations, namely women.

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