Education is a long-term investment which has remained criminally neglected for years. With 34% of the illiterate population in the world, India has the largest number of illiterates by far, with second-placed China at 11%. Education plays a significant role in raising incomes and reducing poverty. It is estimated that more than 170 million people would rise out of poverty if all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills. Such an impact can only be achieved with system-level change. Just one additional year of schooling increases earnings by 10 % overall and by 20 % for women.
If all women were educated to secondary level, child marriage would be reduced by 64%. Even if all women completed just primary education, this would reduce death in childbirth by 66%. Lack of education is cited as the main reason for the poor economic conditions of Indian Muslims.