Investing in girls' education is the smart approach

Susan Markham, USAID

July 13, 2015

Photo: USAID
At USAID, we know that investing in girls’ education is not only the right approach, but the smart one. It’s how we do it that will determine if we’re successful. Girls in developing countries face complex and often dangerous barriers while trying to get an education. As a girl grows older the fight to get an education becomes even harder. The transition from primary school to secondary school is especially critical. It’s not enough to build schools and equip classrooms, we have to address the whole girl.
That’s why I’m so excited about Let Girls Learn, a United States government initiative to help adolescent girls get the education they deserve. USAID’s Let Girls Learn strategy focuses on three main pillars. The first pillar, Increasing Access to Quality Education, focuses on teaching girls to read and write, providing safe access to schools, and ensuring those living in areas affected by crisis and conflict have access to an education. USAID will also continue to work to reduce barriers to success such as health vulnerabilities including early marriage, pregnancy and HIV, economic barriers and the threat of violence. Finally, we will increase girls’ rights, leadership and opportunity as well as change attitudes regarding the value of girls’ lives in order to empower adolescent girls broadly.
If we approach the issue holistically, we can help girls gain the skills, knowledge and self-confidence to truly chart their own course. 
To read more about the Let Girls Learn initiative, visit