SDG-4 plans to achieve inclusive and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. By 2030, gender disparities in education should finally be eliminated, and equal access to all levels of education should be ensured for both boys and girls. Affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university, should be accessible for really everybody, including persons with disabilities.
Well, it does not take much either to see the key role of women’s empowerment regarding SDG-4. Still of today, women account for two-thirds of the 750 million adults without basic literacy skills. Going to school is merely a dream for too many girls around the world - in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, only 23 % of rural girls finish primary school, let alone secondary or tertiary school. 16 million girls worldwide will never set foot in a classroom. The issues that prevent them from receiving equal education opportunities range from social norms and gender stereotypes to financial barriers: Poor parents tend to invest in their sons’ education rather than their daughters’. Instead, girls are being married at an early age, used as cheap forces in family and rural work - or even forced into prostitution.
Education in general is proven to be one of the most powerful vehicles for sustainable development. An African proverb says: „If you educate a woman, you educate a nation“, thus multiplying the positive effect. Evidence from a range of countries shows that educated women’s increased earning capacity not only has a positive effect on children's educational prospects. In general, the bigger the share of household income controlled by a woman, the bigger the share that is spent in ways that directly benefit children. By empowering women, you therefore create an invaluable positive ripple effect on their kids - the next generation.