Education helps raise the social status and self-image of all humans, and makes them more receptive to important new ideas for social progress. That is why women who have attended school are more likely to reject harmful traditional practices, to seek and use health services, to see the need for more family planning, and so on. Research indicates that women with no schooling have almost twice as many children, on average, as those who have attended school for seven years or more. Given this, the education of women is widely recognized as one of the critical keys in the lowering of birth rates. In addition, it has been found that a child's health is affected much more by a mother's level of education than by the father's. Demographic and health surveys in 25 developing countries show that, all else being equal, even a minimal level of education for women (one to three years of schooling) can reduce child mortality by 15%, whereas a similar level of paternal schooling achieves a reduction of only six percent. Countries that in 1965 had achieved near-universal education for boys but much less for girls had approximately twice the infant mortality rate in 1985 than countries with a smaller gap in the boy-girl education ratio. In Thailand, mothers with primary school education were 30% more likely than mothers with no education to treat childhood diarrhoea with oral rehydration therapy or homemade solutions of salt, sugar and water. This figure rose to 90% for mothers with secondary or higher education.
Teach a man and you teach one person. Teach a woman and you teach a whole family.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.