Three ways fathers can support girls’ education
1. Make the right decision: In many countries, dads are usually the final arbiters in any decision about sending a child to school – or taking them out of school. Though mothers (and sometimes older brothers or uncles) are usually the key to persuading them, it is often fathers who make the decision about whether a girl can go to school. So, one way that dads can make a big difference is by making the right decision and sending their daughters to school!
2. Help delay marriage: An early marriage can cut a girl’s time at school short. Early marriage often leads to early pregnancy, putting young girls’ health at risk; early pregnancy is a leading cause of death for girls 15 to 19. Committing to delay a daughter’s marriage until after her graduation can help a girl stay in school, stay safe, and stay healthy.
3. Be a role model for other dads: Fathers who care and are actively involved in their daughters’ education have an impact far beyond their immediate family. Their progressive attitude can affect their neighbours, their community, and their local authority. It will influence school administrators and teachers, the media, and even the government. Setting an example by sending their daughters to school can cause a ripple effect!
Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai has become a symbol for girls’ right to education around the world after being attacked by the Taliban on a school bus last year. Did you know that activism for girls’ education runs in her family?
Malala’s biggest cheerleader is her dad, who runs a school himself. Although his mother, sisters, nieces and wife were never educated, he decided to break this cycle with his own daughter. When Malala headed back to school after her long recovery, her dad was there to walk with her to class.