It starts with educating girls
While this article is not built on hard data, it's a compelling one nonetheless. The evidence is out there: communities that enable both boys *and* girls to receive an education are those that will enjoy the greatest success in terms of health, lower infant and child mortality rates, and economic prosperity.
"An educated woman is better able to educate her own children who, in turn, will be more likely to receive school education themselves. The family will likely be healthier, with a lower prospect of infant mortality and better maternal nutrition, including while pregnant and nursing."
The attached article is an ideal starting point for ensuring that children thrive in their first five years of life. It begins, as we all know, with the maternal health of women, a message that numerous campaigns around the world have sought to promote. But the education of girls and women stretches much further than that with, as the article states, benefits extending through the entire community and reverberating over time. Obviously, there are also countless examples of how denying girls access to an education tends to result in an increased failure to thrive among under fives. "Deny girls and women education and the whole community suffers, not just them as individuals."
Thus, a key question is: How might parents in low-income communities move beyond the barriers prohibiting girls access to an equal education as a key factor towards ensuring that children thrive in their first five years?