Pin It

5 Reasons Why Female Financial Education is Internationally Imperative

By: Andrew Anastasio and Aya Fukahori

Female education is imperative on both a national and international scale. Studies have shown that female literacy, education, and participation in the workforce has consistently been a major catalyst for change, producing positive effects in multiple areas including the rate of childbirth in individual households, the societal suppression of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, and the increasing of overall international GDP. Research has shown that female education moves society along at a faster pace than when their education levels have been stunted, and research has provided backing for the claim that a world where every woman is afforded the same right to education as a man is a much more progressive and tolerant one. Here are just a few reasons why:

1) Female Literacy Rates: According to The World Bank statistics currently available on their website, 89% of adult males worldwide are literate while only 82% of adult females are literate (1). There are a few different reasons for this, with a main cause being that international women are not given the same opportunities for education as their male counterparts.

2) Politics: According to January 2019 statistics from UN Women, “11 women are serving as Head of State and 10 are serving as Head of Government” throughout the world (2). This means that, of the 195 UN-recognized nations currently in existence, 174 of them have a male leader in office. Women are grossly under-represented in international politics, and education and opportunity creation are the only ways to even the disparity pervasive between them and men in politics. *Interestingly, the nation with the most female representatives in politics is Rwanda. The Rwandan Government currently has 61.3 % of all Parliament seats occupied by females. (2)

3) Women and Financial Literacy: OECD and other studies show that women have lower financial literacy levels than men in both developed and developing countries. Specific groups of women—young women, widows, under-privileged—tend to lack financial knowledge the most. Many challenges to closing the gender wage gap for women are linked to their lower economic and financial opportunities. Women require financial literacy and skills to manage their personal and household finances as well as developing and managing entrepreneurial endeavors. Since women live longer than men yet have shorter working lives in paid employment and lower average incomes from which to save for old-age, they need to be sufficiently financially literate to manage the greater financial risks that they face. They need to know what financial services and products are at their disposal and which ones are best-suited to them for their economic empowerment. 

4) Income Potential/Poverty Reduction: According to analysis of the Status of Women in the states, income potential and poverty rate are correlated. The Employment & Earning index measured states on women’s earnings, the gender wage gap, women’s labor force participation, and women’s representation in professional and managerial occupations. The states ranked greatest in earnings potential for women are the District of Columbia, Maryland and Massachusetts, while the states with the worst earnings potential are Mississippi, West Virginia, Idaho and Louisiana. If you look at the Poverty & Opportunity index, which measures states by poverty, health insurance coverage, bachelor's degree education and business ownership, the best states are Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts, while Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia are ranked as the worst. Women who have been given the opportunity to receive education have a much better chance to prepare for their future. They will also gain higher income potential and most likely live above the poverty line without suffering gender gaps. (3)

5) Thriving GDP: Educating women produces a substantial amount of positive effects on a nation’s economy. The Global Partnership for Education writes that a nation which chooses to invest in the education of its young women can expect to see them earn up to “a 25% increase in wages later in life. The effects carry from one generation to the next: educated girls have fewer, healthier and better educated children”. With women earning more due to education, their nation in turn can expect to see a large uptick in their overall GDP, as “a one percentage point increase in female education raises the average gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.3 percentage points and raises annual GDP growth rates by 0.2 percentage points”. (4)

Sources Cited:

“Literacy Rate, Adult Female (% Of Females Ages 15 and Above).” The World Bank, UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

“Facts and Figures: Leadership and Political Participation.” UN Women.

“The Economic Status of Women in the States.” Status of Women in the States.

Bourne, Jo. “Why Educating Girls Makes Economic Sense.” Global Partnership, Global Partnership for Education, 6 Mar. 2014.

Pin It

DoughMain Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest events and changes here at DoughMain Financial Literacy Foundation




189 Wall Street, Suite B
Princeton, NJ 08540