The Benefits of Girls Education

The Population Division organized and led the expert panel to discuss the known scientific knowledge on the main substantive issues on how population is an important factor in sustainable development and the sustainable development goals. The main panelist opened up the discussion with a PowerPoint highlighting how changes in age structure and demographics lead to a favorable working population. Having a favorable working population then leads to large socioeconomic improvements associated with behavioral changes and even societal health benefits. The next speaker, Sajeda Amin, led and introduced the Population Council’s work on livelihoods for adolescent girls. She stressed the need to invest in adolescent girls from not only a human rights perspective, but more of a strategic standpoint as well. The price of not investing in this demographic is high, as maternal morbidity rates, gender-based violence and HIV patients increase. To invest in this demographic, she stressed that investing in a girl’s education and providing resources to control fertility influences population growth. Dr. Amin showed a graph showing an inverse relationship in South Korean women, where fertility rates and female labor participation were directed in opposite directions. Thus, achieving sustainability depends critically on “investments in girls in settings where they are at high risk of dropping out of school, early marriage and early childbearing.” The next speaker, Mr. Eloundou-Enyegue talked about the demographic dividends gained from a changing population, in terms of health. He elaborated to state that there are many possible points of integration between sustainable development and population. He further addressed these variables between sustainable development and population including the growing economic inequality across the world. In closing, the main panelist stated that there is a clear correlation between population growth and the ability to sustain development, and stated that addressing these two issues collectively will pay dividends in the future.

Meeting: Expert panel on “Integrating Population Issues into Sustainable Development, Including in the Post-2015 Development Agenda” (organized by the Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA))

Thursday, January 22, 2015; 10:00-13:00; Conference Room 5

Speakers: Dr. Sajeda Amin, Senior Associate of the Population Council; Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University

Written By: Daniel Cho

Edited By: Modou Cham

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