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Educate a Woman and You Educate a Family; Educate a Girl and You Educate the Future

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"If you educate a woman, you educate a family, if you educate a girl, you educate the future." - Queen Rania of Jordan

The bond between a mother and a child is unique and enduring. Whether a bond of blood or circumstance this relationship shapes the child’s character.  For the mother, it unlocks an amazing power to love unconditionally and nurture wholeheartedly. This relationship shapes the future.  

Photo Credit: Graham Crumb http://imagicity.com/about-2

In her blog posts for Global Mom RelayQueen Rania of Jordan writes, “Motherhood is a metaphor,” a metaphor for the example a woman sets for the next generation. She recounts the life of two women who pursued their dreams, and she is not shy about their challenges. Whether as a teacher at a girls’ school or an entrepreneur and mother of four, they make sacrifices, learn from failures, and challenge conventions to make positive change. Their examples are “building foundations under the dreams of young girls”.

Her post reaffirmed in me the Global Peace Foundation approach to empowering women. GPF uplifts the dignity and value of women and recognizes their crucial role in peace and development.  Could it be that it plays out in their role as biologic and metaphoric mothers?

The blog presents a rough map of this process:

“[Girls] with dreams become women with vision.  Confident women who participate in their communities and countries.  Strong women who contribute to their nations’ growth and prosperity.  Compassionate women who, as mothers or guardians or leaders, nurture and guide the next generation—boys as well as girls—towards greater equality, justice and prosperity.”

Girls who get to dream and develop their character grow into vision-driven women, mothers and leaders who pass essential values and precious opportunity to the next generation.

Photo Credit: Pippa Ranger/DFID -UK Department for International Development

In an interview with Oprah, Queen Rania shared her perspective raising her children, “When we invest in raising our children as global citizens who are educated and exposed to the diverse religions, cultures and characters of the world, peace is possible.”   She is clear that education more than literacy; it is about cultivating values and dreams.

Yet, there are so many circumstances that thwart a girl’s dream like war and poverty. Education and empowerment are gifts that no one should be denied. No one should be robbed of the opportunity to dream and pursue a life without war and terror. 

Instead, opportunity should be generated, particularly for our mothers and girls. It can begin in small ways. Most of us know how resourceful our mothers can be. In her hands small steps: literacy classes, nutrition, vaccinations, relationships, become life altering provisions. An investment in our mothers and girls are investments in the future. 

Women and children need to feel safe, valued and respected for their innate value and contribution.  This is the foundation for girls and boys to feel empowered to dream and pursue those dreams as global citizens who will create a world where we know we are all one family under God.