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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