"You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation."—Brigham Young

Lack of education for children today will have lifelong effects: Almost a quarter of young women aged 15-24 today (116 million) in developing countries have never completed primary school and so lack skills for work.

Facts and Figures

  • Women make up more than two-thirds of the world's 796 million illiterate people.
  • Every additional year of primary school increases girls' eventual wages by 10-20 percent. It also encourages them to marry later and have fewer children and leaves them less vulnerable to violence.
  • While progress has been made in reducing the gender gap in urban primary school enrollment, data from 42 countries shows that rural girls are twice as likely as urban girls to be out of school.
  • In Pakistan, a half-kilometer increase in the distance to school will decrease girls' enrollment by 20 percent. In Egypt, Indonesia, and several African countries, building local schools in rural communities increased girls' enrollment.
  • In Cambodia, 48 percent of rural women are illiterate compared to 14 percent of rural men.
  • Deficits in education of rural women have long-term implications for family well-being and poverty reduction. Vast improvements have been seen in the mortality rates of children less than 5 years old since 1990, but rates in rural areas are usually much higher than in urban areas.
  • Data from 68 countries indicates that a woman's education is a key factor in determining a child's survival.
  • Children of mothers with no education in the Latin American and Caribbean region are 3.1 times more likely to die than those with mothers who have secondary or tertiary education and 1.6 times more likely than those whose mothers have primary-level education. 

Commission on the Status of Women, United Nations


General Conference Women's Ministries Scholarship Program

GCWM scholarship program has supported higher education for Adventist women globally since 1991, and more than one million dollars has been awarded to 2,164 recipients in 124 countries. More information | online donations

Among January 2015 recipents are:

  • 2 widows
  • 11 married women
  • 1 orphan
  • 5 family outcasts—for becoming Seventh-day Adventists