Women and Children are Socially Disadvantaged

By Maji Mazuri

Lack of fundamental resources has particularly detrimental social consequences to women and children.

Furthermore, in the rural areas of many developing countries, the girl child is not able to acquire an elementary education because they are required to work to provide each day for their family or village. She may have to walk even up to 5-miles to fetch water from a contaminated river, pond or stream. The containers used to transport water usually hold about 15 liters of water and weigh up to 15 kilograms. Such a physically difficult and time consuming responsibility means that these girls are not able to go to school due to fatigue or simply because they are not afforded the time.

In addition, many young women in these areas are marrying between the ages of 12 and 16 years. By keeping these women in school, they can become educated and potentially avoid marrying at such a young age. This ultimately benefits the local community as older, more educated women might opt for smaller, more economically manageable family sizes resulting in more moderate population growth and less pressure on available resources.

As surprising as it sounds, these positive changes all start with providing basic start-up resources to these families and their children so they can sustain safe and healthy lives and have the time and the strength to start and finish school.