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10 ways to actually help girls on International Day of the Girl

10 ways to actually help girls on International Day of the Girl
[Photo: Flickr user Shinya Suzuki]

It’s International Day of the Girl, so to mark the occasion we have put together a list of organizations working to make the world a better place for girls and young women. The groups promote equality, fight for fairness in wages, work to end child marriage, and put the education and equality of young women at the forefront of their missions.

Since some 62 million girls around the world are not in school, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development, women are still paid less than men, and women and girls still bear the brunt of family chores, there’s still a lot of work to do. Here’s how you can help:

  • It’s estimated that 64 million girls around the world are forced into marriage before the age of 18—some as young as 7 or 8 years old. CARE’s Tipping Point program works to let girls grow up and be empowered to make their own life choices. (CARE also teamed up with Care Bares this year.)
  • The Malala Fund, founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, works to ensure every girl gets 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
  • Help young women become the first in their families to graduate from high school with She’s the First, which uses education, mentorship, and global leadership training to support girls determined to make a difference.
  • At least 500 million women and girls globally lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management, making them more likely to miss school or drop out entirely. Help girls get the period care they need through Days For Girls.
  • Become a mentor for a young girl through Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
  • UNICEF reports that women and girls around the world spend 200 million hours every day collecting water. The opportunity cost of lack of access to clean water disproportionately falls on women and girls, cutting into time they could spend in school or doing other things. Help make clean water easier to access via The Water Project.
  • 3.9 million girls are at risk of undergoing female genital cutting. That tradition is being challenged by Orchid Project, which is working to end the risky practice.
  • School can be costly. Help fund a young girl’s education through Heifer International.
  • Girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys by age 14. Play Like A Girl is on a mission to change that with sports and STEM programs around the world.
  • Equality Now uses the legal system to fight unjust and gender-biased laws. Since it was founded in 1992, it’s fought for voting rights for women in Kuwait, helped pass the first law prohibiting sex tourism, and generally fought for a world where girls can grow up free of discrimination and bias.

This post has been updated.

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