The decade long focus of the development sector on educating girls has been an impactful lever for prosperity. However, Craig Silverstein and Mary Obelnicki emphasize that there is an untapped potential in focusing on girls across all development sectors and all Global Goals.
What is the Big Bet? Rather than one sector doing everything for girls, all sectors need to do their one thing for girls. This means making all sectors from health to energy responsible for making sure they count, consult and connect girls.
Why is there a need for this Big Bet? Although there has been a tremendous amount of work in getting girls into schools, there is still a lot that can be done. In sub-Saharan Africa, barely a third of girls are secondary graduates and in South Asia almost half of all the 4th-6th graders can’t read a newspaper.
What could be the effect of the Big Bet? The evidence exists already. Educating girls has shown to make them more likely to survive childbirth, their children more likely to go to school themselves and an increase in GDP. Educated girls could end cycles of poverty and build immunity towards religious radicalization.