Here is a great article by Kathy Lette on the education of women worldwide. She supports the charity Plan UK,  which works

to help girls overcome the incredible odds that keep them locked in the cycle of poverty… Altogether, more than 43 million [girls] are currently out of school. Girls are at the back of the queue when it comes to schooling; and as a result they are forced to endure a lifetime of missed opportunities and lost potential.

I did my teacher training at the Institute of Education in London in the department of – wait for it –Tropical Areas (I planned to work abroad). I was not just the only person on the course who had never visited such an area, mine was the only white face, and I was the youngest by about a decade. Most of the others had lived and worked in Africa or Asia all their lives, had acquired qualifications, at enormous personal sacrifice, and had managed the supreme effort of getting cash and time to train in the UK. My, but I had so much to learn; the teaching of  History being only a tiny component.
A frequent and lively debate we had (while others on more conventional courses were learning how to use the Banda machine) was whether girls should be educated at all. That this should be a contentious issue was an incredible concept to me. The arguments were sophisticated and thoughtful and largely centred upon a genuine ( though we now know, misguided) but entirely economic imperative. It is clear nearly 40 years on that educating girls is not just about justice for 50% of the world’s population. Mothers play the pre-eminent role in breaking the cycle of poverty as we can see in the wonderful concept of  Microcredit which gives hope to many, many women and their families in the poorest parts of the world. Microcredit is

the extension of very small loans to those in poverty designed to spur entrepreneurship. These individuals lack collateral, steady employment and a verifiable credit history and therefore cannot meet even the most minimal qualifications to gain access to traditional credit.

Gender (and class) inequalities still exist in Britain of course, as Lette amusingly describes. However, these are insignificant compared with the injustices in other parts of the world.

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