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 Malala Yousafzai – Credit: T.Mughal/epa/corbis
 
I have been asked by a charity I support, ActionAid, to explain why I believe that education is so important for my children.

I need to come clean here: I spend most of my days complaining about the French education system (too academic, you see, and you’d better be good at maths), and if I am not moaning about the French system, I switch to the British one (the maths level is appalling, right?).

That said, I know that I am very fortunate : my daughters are receiving a good education and, thanks to this, they will have a chance to reach their potential. I believe that education is even more important for girls, because eventually girls will become mothers and will have to find ways to work with a young family or to organise themselves as best as possible. Let’s face it: in order to grow up, you need education and gumption. And lots of both, actually.

One of my great aunts was told by her own mother, when she was younger, that you could have a baby just by kissing a boy. I am so glad that our generation is much better-informed. This poor girl, because of her lack of knowledge, was brought up completely controlled by her parents, kept in the dark by the very person who should have educated her. Some find it funny. I certainly don’t.

In this day and age, some children still do not get an education. If you can’t count or read, what are your chances? How will you make it? If girls and boys aren’t told about contraception, how will they be able to study? How will we control the AIDS pandemic?

You may not know it but today, 12th of July 2013, is Malala Yousafzai’s 16th birthday. Last October, she was shot by the Taliban because she was a campaigner for girls’ education.  Malalas determination for her right for schooling almost cost her life.

She survived surgery in the UK and will make her first public speech at a youth takeover of the UN.

All children deserve the right to an education. Why, in this day and age, are some not getting any? I am trying to help through child sponsorship. I am trying to be honest with my daughters. What about you? What do you do?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Carolina HeartStrings

    What a brave girl. I am glad she still wants to be involved. Makes me feel like I should do more then just cheer from the sidelines 🙁

  • AnnMullen

    I wish more people felt like you do, but there are so many countries in which women are not full citizens that it is unbelievable. And it isn’t just in the Middle East. Latin America’s small, poor countries are full of women, young and old, with little or no education, having babies starting when they are very young and with different baby-daddies. When people look around and see only what is in front of their eyes and not what is happening everywhere, I want to scream. I often remind people that we are the minority. All is not well on our planet. Thanks for supporting education, MuriEL.

  • Many believe that by depriving their children of an educations, they will be under better control. They will not resent taking menial jobs, being treated akin to servants, etc. This has got to be stopped. I stand with you on this, Muriel.

  • SarahHague

    I support Medecins Sans Frontiers because health and education are both vital to leading a productive life.
    By the way, I’ll be in your neck of the woods next week or week after as my son wants to visit SlickWillies scooter shop on Gloucester Road. 🙂

  • Carol

    It is wonderful, that you are so active in the cause. I have 3 adopted children. Two of them have graduated from university and my daughter is finishing her teaching certificate. She would not have had these opportunities in her country of birth. I completely agree with you.

  • Maman Gâteau

    Like you I am always criticising the French and the English education. At the end of the day our children are so lucky to have one! Thanks for this great post! Education is power! Malala Yousafzai is a real hero! I support wateraid and save the children because I think it’s appalling that nowadays people are still dying from hunger!

  • MuMuGB

    We are indeed very fortunate. We have so much to do: eradicating hunger, educating everybody. Let’s hope that, little by little, we will make this world a better place!

  • MuMuGB

    3 adopted children! Wow! And they seem to be doing so well thanks to your education. Well done! You are far ahead of me!

  • MuMuGB

    Well done! I like MSF too, actually. Tweet me when you are in London. We will be in France the week starting on the 20th. How long are you in London for?

  • MuMuGB

    Thanks, Roy. Sometimes I just can’t believe that this is the 21st century. It has to stop!

  • MuMuGB

    You are right, Ann. It is all about taking a step back and understanding how fortunate we are, isn’t it? And it is always women who pay a higher price, don’t you think?

  • MuMuGB

    We are all doing what we can. Taking care of our own family is a step forward, I believe. And not the sidelines.

  • SarahHague

    We’ll be over for two weeks. My son will be nagging me to go to London next week asap. 🙂
    I’ll have to find a wifi zone to Tweet.