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Education as the path to equality

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The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out a series of global objectives that seek to promote sustainable global and human development. 24 January marks the International Day of Education and at MAPFRE we would like to remind you of the importance of SDG 4: Quality Education, and how we contribute to change.

According to the United Nations, significant progress has been made in the field of education over the past decade: literacy rates have gone up, especially amongst girls, although there is still a long way to go, a wide range of initiatives to invest in and many governments that need to understand that education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and helps to eliminate poverty. In fact, 1 in 11 children currently do not receive any type of education on account of the lack of nearby schools, active conflicts in different parts of the world and multiple other problems. It is just as alarming as it sounds: 244 million children and young people around the world are unschooled. 

This lack of education is in breach of Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: the right to education, which allows personal growth, keeps us away from poverty, ends inequality and guarantees the sustainable development of society. 

Education reduces poverty

The gap that separates the rich from the poor grows wider every day, and education is one of the necessary points of connection between these socioeconomic realities. Without education, there would be no progress, and without progress, the economic gap would continue to grow.

Education is not a way of escaping poverty, but of fighting it” Julius Nyerere, former President and founder of Tanzania

Receiving a good education considerably increases the likelihood of obtaining a higher income and reducing poverty. According to the report by Oxfam Intermón on the role of education in the fight against inequality, it is estimated that each year of education increases men’s income by up to 10% and women’s income by up to 20%. With this in mind, if all the world’s children were to receive a primary and secondary education, extreme poverty would be cut in half. Furthermore, schools serve as a meeting point for students where values ​​and social skills are developed, leading to friendships or contacts of interest for the future.

Education foments gender equality

After a long history in which women around the world had no right to education, access to universal education, in most countries, now guarantees the possibility of men and women both receiving the same education and the same job opportunities. 

The greater the level of education amongst women, the greater their autonomy and decision-making power over their own lives. The schooling of girls makes it possible for them, in later life, to get a job, choose whether to get married or when to have children, to name just a few of the many problems that the female population faces in countries with a low rate of schooling, especially in Africa and Asia. 

In general, a higher level of education is associated with a higher level of freedom and ability to make your own decisions.

MAPFRE’S commitment to education

Large corporations can do their bit in terms of education to help ensure that everybody has the same opportunities. At MAPFRE, we made the commitment to tracing a route map in line with the UN’s 2030 Development Agenda a number of years ago. Investing in education is one of the group’s priorities in contributing to the objective of achieving a more sustainable, fairer and more equal world. 

Financial education is also a key element in achieving the SDGs set out under the 2030 Agenda and therefore forms part of our educational purposes.

This type of training is essential in our current day-to-day activities to guide us towards economic stability, peace of mind and being able to make informed decisions. In the words of the Spanish National Securities and Exchange Commission: 

“Financial education enables individuals to improve their understanding of financial concepts and products, prevent fraud, make decisions appropriate to their circumstances and needs, and avoid undesirable situations arising either from excessive indebtedness or unsuited risk positions.”  Spanish National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV)

With this in mind, correctly managing personal finances is a tool to help ensure personal freedom and security. At MAPFRE, we regularly share articles and reports on this subject. Find out all about the benefits of financial education in this article.