Education for Girls in Southeast Asia - Children of the Mekong

Education for girls

The situation

In Southeast Asia, as in the rest of the world, there is a pressing need for more education for girls. The statistics show that women are much less well educated than men. Often subject to discrimination and considered to be a burden, women are more vulnerable. Their relative poverty is another factor; girls often marry early, have children young and are weighed down by domestic chores.

This is despite the facts that many ethnic groups in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia have traditionally practised matriarchy, and women still play an important role in the family.

Our response

At Children of the Mekong, we know that an educated woman will pass on to her children the knowledge that she has acquired and fight harder to ensure that they get an education of their own.

We believe that giving girls access to education and employment is an important development tool. That is why in Cambodia, for example, 62% of the children supported by Children of the Mekong are girls – of whom two-thirds come from three of the poorest provinces in the north of the country. When allocating places in foster homes, priority is given to girls, provided that this is warranted by their family circumstances.

Our child sponsorship programme supports girls education, offering the opportunity to sponsor a girl child, and giving them the chance to get an education.

Sponsor a girl child

  • Only 30% of children in education in the world are girls. Of 900 million illiterate people, two-thirds are women.
  • In Cambodia, 30% of women do not know how to read or write, while for men the figure is 15%.
  • More than 65% of women who live in the countryside work on the land but receive no pay. 40% of women have difficulty in getting access to medical care.
  • The child of a mother who knows how to read and write has a 50% greater chance of living beyond the age of five.




Why girls education is essential?

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Progress: 78%

Sponsored children: 11 of 14

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Progress: 51%

Funds raised so far: 51%

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