Women in Norway have gained progressively more rights over the past centuries. Including suffrage in 1913. We have also gained access to education and opportunities to support ourselves. But even though Norway has developed into a more egalitarian and just country where almost everyone has equal opportunities, many countries around the world still lack the same outcomes. According to statistics from the United Nations Association, it is shown that a staggering 162 million children worldwide do not have the opportunity to attend school. A full 75% of these children are girls. This corresponds to around 130 million girls between the ages of 6 and 17. Additionally, it is stated that 2 out of 3 illiterate adults are girls. Especially today’s developing countries are affected by the lack of access to education. There are several reasons why girls and women lack the opportunity to get an education. Among them are limited schools and teaching materials. There is also a shortage of qualified teachers who can convey education to students. Other relevant reasons for unequal educational opportunities for girls can stem from cultural differences and forced marriages. Furthermore, many girls cannot attend school because they need to help their families work to sustain the family’s economy.
If we succeed in getting more children into school, this will lead to several positive factors. It will expand the job market and stabilize the economy for both individuals and the state. We also see that the forward-looking demographic model of population growth is stabilized. This automatically contributes to lifting the population out of poverty and into a stable working class. By maintaining the forward-looking demographic model of population growth, birth rates and death rates will also stabilize. This happens because poor families tend to have more children. This occurs, in part, because the poorest families need children to contribute to the family economy. Another important reason for women to participate in education is that they should be treated as free citizens on equal terms with men, where women, like men, should have the opportunity to support themselves and their families.
Throughout my upbringing, I have traveled to various parts of the world where the opportunities for education have been quite diverse. I have met several gifted young women whose dreams of education have been suppressed. For instance, I traveled to Brazil in February 2020. Here, I connected with several families living on the streets and in favelas. There was a stark difference between economically privileged and poor families. Poverty is widespread in Brazil, and school spots are scarce among the very poorest. In connection with choosing my cause, it is important to mention that my parents have shown throughout my life how significant the difference can be in the future if one is granted the opportunity to educate themselves. In the Western world, education is an obvious privilege available to most who strive for it. In developing countries, this privilege is not given to just anyone, and certainly not women. As my mother often says, «You can lose everything you own, but not your education.» These words convey the importance of a solid foundation of education for women, which needs to be developed to guide the next generation, no matter where they live in the world.
Another issue that is close to my heart is taking up the fight against human trafficking. Human trafficking is a grave issue affecting millions across the globe. According to estimates, around 25 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery, forced into labor, or subjected to sexual exploitation. This shadowy trade preys on vulnerable populations, exploiting disparities in economic opportunities, political instability, and lack of education. The insidious nature of human trafficking knows no borders, making it a pressing global concern that demands collective action.
A key factor perpetuating human trafficking is the lack of accessible education, particularly in regions prone to trafficking. Limited educational opportunities exacerbate poverty and vulnerability, leaving individuals susceptible to traffickers promising better lives. By providing better education, especially for girls and women, we can disrupt this vicious cycle. Education empowers individuals with knowledge, critical thinking skills, and self-confidence, making them less likely to fall victim to traffickers’ deceptive schemes. Moreover, educated communities are more equipped to recognize signs of trafficking and raise awareness, fostering an environment where such criminal activities are less likely to thrive. In this way, investing in education becomes a powerful tool in the fight against human trafficking, driving progress toward a safer and more equitable world for all.