Oct. 11 marks the International Day of the Girl (IDG), an annual global observance that celebrates girls' accomplishments and promotes gender equality. On this day, which was declared by the United Nations, and always, you can support initiatives that help girls achieve their full potential — and education is such a crucial component of success. So, if you want to get involved, there are several different ways to support girls' education around the world, through donations and beyond.
It goes without saying that it's important to boost organizations that empower girls, but not as many Americans as you'd expect actually follow through with this. An October 2019 report from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute found that, while Americans give a substantial amount of money to charity every year, very little of it goes toward women's and girls' organizations. In fact, the report revealed that only around 1.6% of total charitable giving from Americans in 2016 went to women's and girls' causes in the United States. The bulk of charitable donations went toward religious organizations, followed by educational and human services groups.
It's clear that groups that advance women's and girls' initiatives very much need support — and International Day of the Girl offers the perfect opportunity to help accelerate this investment. This year's IDG theme, "GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable," aims to "celebrate achievements by, with, and for girls" that have occurred since the UN developed major initiatives to promote and protect their rights. You can play a role in celebrating these achievements by backing efforts that make sure all girls have the opportunity to succeed, in the classroom and beyond.
She's The First
She's The First focuses on supporting girls in 11 countries who will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. If you want to help the organization, you can set up a birthday fundraiser on Facebook in support of their mission.
Learn & Raise Awareness
If you're not already familiar with the barriers that limit girls' access to education around the world, consider doing some research to learn more about the topic — and share your findings with others. As you learn more about the root causes of educational inequities, it can help inform how you discuss the topic with friends and family members. It also may help encourage others to take their own actions to support girls' education as well. This brief on educational barriers from Women Deliver is a good place to start your research.
As the UN emphasizes in its International Day of the Girl concept note, "investing in girls is investing in a better future that is equal for all – for girls themselves, for their families and for communities." And according to the UN, there's still much more work that needs to be done.