Among specific targets to be achieved by 2030. These

various contributing factors to a child’s welfare lies the momentous influence
of a mother on her child. Even as early as birth, the mother and her infant
develop a mutual, interlocking pattern of attachment behaviours, called
synchrony (Psych book). With this in mind, and looking at the rate of female
education in third-world countries, it obvious to see the detrimental impact
that lack of education could have on the development and well-being of
children. Today, it is estimated that are 130 million girls between the ages of
6 and 17 are out of school (I think SDG?). The ways that lack of schooling in
females impacts children seem endless, with only some examples including its
primary correlation to childbirth mortality, childhood mortality, malnutrition,
further decreased education rates and poverty. However, one of the most
substantial effects is the child’s exposure to health care. The implementation
of females into educational programs would have immeasurable favourable
consequences including a “shift from a ‘fatalistic’ acceptance of health
outcomes towards implementation of simple health knowledge; an increased
capability to manipulate the modern world, including interaction with medical
personnel; and a shift in the familial power structures permitting woman to
great control over health choices for her children” (Hobcraft, 159).Thereupon,
education for females has a much greater impact than on just of themselves, but
rather results in the empowerment of women to make advantageous steps to
achieving health for themselves and also their children, altering the outcome
of their lives. With this in mind, one must acknowledge the complexity of
addressing this challenge, and that to take action the network of contributing
factors to a lack of opportunity for women to be educated must be understood.
For the purpose of this paper, the impact of a lack of education in females and
its relation to the accessibility, utilization and impact of health care for
their children will be discussed.

Sustainable Development Goal

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2016 the UN established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with specific
targets to be achieved by 2030. These goals were introduced in attempt to universally
transform the world and address issues such as poverty, hunger, health,
education and social justice. The fourth SDG; to “Ensure inclusive and
equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for
all” corresponds directly to the importance of female education. One of the
targets included in this goal is to ensure equal access for all women and men
to affordable education, including university (4.3). This has direct
ramifications in health care access. Moreover, studies have shown that women
who are educated not only have more access to health care (eg., maternal
education provides accessibility through healthcare cards; Sonalde 77), but also utilize the knowledge they
have learned from health care professionals (reference). This greatly increases
the child’s health potential as women are more likely to partake in a healthier
lifestyle for themselves and their children, participate in preventative health
strategies such as prenatal visits and also expect healthier and further
development in their children (Hobcraft, 161). In order to develop strategies
to counteract lack of education and decreased access to healthcare, the
prevalence and significance of this challenge must be expressed and recognized
on a global level. Through the United Nations’ SDG system, awareness is being
brought to this problem. However not enough progress is being made as equity is
still a fundamental factor to the accessibility of education. Therefore, children
across the globe, specifically millions of children in low income-countries
“will generally have worse health and poorer health services” (text, 61).

Education Locally and Globally

is established that high education rates are associated with better health, and
that “education of a child’s mother is an important predictor of the health of
child” (text, 58).      

With this in mind, it is
easy to see how lack of education resulting in poor health becomes a
deleterious cycle with the poor health of a generation negatively impacting the
schooling prospects for future generations. As international organizations and
bodies realize the effect of this on not only the health of the population, but
also the impact on economy, strategies are being implemented to make education
more accessible.

            Globally, organizations are creatively implementing
programs and policies to make access to education more accessible, especially
to vulnerable populations (eg., female and the poor). Examples of these include
Prathram, USAID, and RISE. Prathram is an organization dedicated to improving India’s
education for the poor, specifically aiming to create relevant and age-specific
curricula. USAID has linked with the
government of Uganada, and is working in conjunction to implement a national
plan surrounding child well-being, emphasizing the importance of early
childhood education (lathrop 2016). Finally, Rise is a DFID-funded research program primarily focused on
researching how school systems in the developing world can overcome the
learning crisis and promote improved education for all (RISE, 2018).

            Although the extremity of lack in education is
predominantly focused on in foreign countries, it is also a growing problem
locally in North America. Moreover, “at the age of 25, U.S. adults without a
high school diploma can expect to die 9 years sooner than college graduates”
and “by 2011, the prevalence of diabetes had reached 15% of adults without a
high school education, compared with 7% for college graduates” (AHRQ, 2018). In
British Columbia there are several programs dedicated to supporting education
accessibility throughout the province. For example, EducationPlannerBC (EPBC)
is a free, centralized, online service available to those who are in need of
assistance in planning, searching for and applying to university (BC gov). Also
focused on adult literacy are non-profit organizations that have partnered with
post-secondary institutions, and have been supported by the province to provide
programs for adults wishing to improve their literacy. These programs stress
the value in literacy among adults and parental figures, providing them with methods
to improve the current living situations of themselves and their children. As
mentioned earlier, the level of education is directly correlated to the access,
knowledge and use of health care within women, which then is a primary factor
in the amount of access to healthcare and overall health in children.

Relevance to Nursing

            As a lack of education is a predisposing factor for
health; the relevance of educating, implementing educational programs and
advocating for further education is very pertinent to the responsibilities of a
nurse. Public health is an aspect of nursing that ties directly to education,
as it applies to health promotion, disease prevention, and intervention for the
population at stake. However, for nurses to effectively educate, they must be
able to properly communicate with their client. Without the primary education
of the client, basic instructions to maintain their well-being will not be
adequately established by the nurse due to inability to communicate. Further,
without schooling, clients will not be able effectively understand prevention
and intervention strategies, thus leaving them vulnerable to their environment.
Nurses must take on the role of an advocate, striving to eradicate disparities
and determinants that may inhibit women from being educated. Moreover, this
should entail ‘upstream thinking’ as they attempt to partner with the client to
maximize their educational opportunities. Finally, as nurses strive to
implement strategies that will have long-term effects, they will do more than
just simply fix the ‘visible’ problem. Instead, they have the opportunity to
help achieve total health; including social, mental, spiritual and physical
well-being. By doing this, not only will the achievement of one SDG be
improved, but many goals will be impacted by the endeavour of impacting more
than one aspect of an individual’s life.


            In order to decrease barriers to healthcare in children,
the problem of illiteracy in their mothers must be confronted. Through the
advocacy of female education, nurses can eliminate the downward spiral of lack
of education, inability to access healthcare and decreased overall health of
women and their children.  By increasing
education rates of mothers, maternal figures will have a wider knowledge base
of how to maintain the health of their child, provide their child with access
to health care professionals, and apply their ongoing learning to ensure the
well-being of their children.  



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