Education improves children’s and mother’s health, creates jobs, and even reduces malnutrition. Educated girls are far less likely to be child brides, and as women they are more likely to reinvest their money in their families, sharing their resources with the next generation. By supporting girls’ education, safety, health and wellness, and by giving them space to lead, even more girls around the world can have the chance to do amazing, inspiring things.
Here are six things you can do to support strong, smart girls at home and around the world, from reading a lovely story with your children or donating to a group working to create a world where no girl is for sale:
1. Read about the poverty-eradicating work that World Vision is doing in partnership with amazing women and girls at Strong Women Strong World. World Vision’s president has called educating women and girls and providing them with equal rights the, “single most important thing that can be done to cure extreme poverty.”
2. Support Peruvian Hearts’ work “unlocking the potential of young women through the power of education.” This nonprofit, founded by then eleven-year-old Ana Dodson, helps young children in Peru go to school, and also provides leadership training and guidance to older girls so that they can achieve their dreams and change their communities. Each year, Peruvian Hearts helps over attend school.
3. Pick up some early Christmas gifts for the inspiring daughters, mothers, sisters, and friends in your life that supports female entrepreneurs: fashionABLE’s soft, beautiful scarves. FashionABLE works with women to create sustainable small businesses that pay a living wage, and that in turn helps the artists and workers pay for their daughters’ education.
4. Read the lovely picture book Beatrice’s Goat with your children. It tells the story of one young girl in Uganda who’s able to go to school because of the gift of one very lucky goat. It’s a great way to show young children that education is a gift – one that we all deserve – and it demonstrates the impact that can come from helping families around the world through an organization like Heifer International. Heifer International has changed the lives over over 18 million families around the world so far!
5. Join or start a Girls on the Run group at your local school. Girls on the Run is a program for third- through eighth-grade girls that combines physical activity and interactive lessons to increase girls’ confidence and strengthen their development – and it’s fun, too! Over 700,000 girls have already had a chance to run, learn, and be inspired through Girls on the Run.
6. View this inspiring video from GEMS about the kind of world we’d all like to have: one in which girls are safe from violence, where they can be whatever they want to be, and where they’re not for sale. Fair warning: you may cry (I did!). Then, join GEMS’ A World for Girls campaign and volunteer to take action, become a mentor, or work to educate your children about a world in which gender-based violence is not okay.