Education is a fundamental human right according to the United Nations; however, sixty million girls worldwide are denied an education, and millions more receive an inferior education as compared to boys. The reasons for the lack of education for women are sexist cultural norms, poverty, poor health, and safety issues. The lack of education effects economic advancement, health and family planning, and the uneducated womens children and their education. The benefits to educating women are profound for the individual, and to local and global societies. A girls education is the "best investment for reducing poverty, improving health, and ensuring social well being" according to the United Nations Educational Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and there are efforts being made to improve this social crisis. If a woman is uneducated, their options and rights for equal employment, political participation, financial independence, and informed family planning are extremely limited or non-existent. Internationally, women continue to be exploited and caught in poverty with their childrens lives compromised as well. Uneducated women are more likely to live in poverty, be infected with HIV/AIDS, or die in childbirth. Their children are also more likely to die of malnutrition. Women with an education are more likely to be employed, and therefore able to support themselves and their children independently. When women are productive in a workplace, it contributes to the economy and society. Therefore, an effort toward educating women effects future generations and the global community. It has been found that educated women are more likely to engage in protected sex, therefore avoiding the spread of AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. This also helps avoid unwanted pregnancies and contributes to a decline in infant mortality. Additionally, educated women are far more likely to send their children to school, continuing the positive effects. There have been conferences and summits by international groups in efforts to achieve universal primary education. Some progress has been made, but not enough. Further goals include eliminating child labor, supporting gender responsive schools that allow pregnant girls to continue their education, producing relevant educational content, providing gender sensitive curricula, training more female teachers, building schools accessible to girls homes, and making schools safe for girls. There are many organizations supports women and girls around the world to improve their lives, including many projects that help women and girls seek an education. These volunteer organizations of businesses and professional women contribute time and financial support on local and international levels.
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