Our purpose

We exist to create a new normal with and for girls.

When a girl has self-belief and is supported by her family and community; when she's empowered with skills, ideas and knowledge; when she has access to services, role models and other girls: when she is visible and vocal - she can demand to stay in school, to get healthcare, and to get married and have children when she chooses.

We work with girls and those around them to create active champions of a world in which she reaches her full potential and the cycle of poverty is disrupted.

The old normal

60 %
of girls in Pakistan rarely or never feel confident to speak and be heard when in the presence of boys and men – Girls Speak Out, Plan International (2015)
84 %
of Ethiopian girls do not attend secondary school – UNICEF (2013)
14 %
of girls aged 15-19 in Ghana are already mothers – Human Rights Advocacy Centre

How we're creating a new normal

Grounded in our theory of change, our unique approach to social norm change uses the latest 21st century tools such as mass and social media, technology and girl-centred community engagement to challenge individual and social barriers that hold girls and their communities back.

By connecting with girls in their communities and building confidence in their own potential, we're changing the way millions of people think, feel and act towards girls. Here's how:

Locally rooted girl-powered culture brands that inspire girls and inform those around them through drama, journalism and music

Interactive technology and real-world safe spaces that connect girls to knowledge and networks that open their world

Groundbreaking peer-to-peer mobile research technologies that capture a deeper understanding of girls' realities in real-time

How we measure a new normal

Everything we do is about driving impact for girls. Rigorous assessment and evidence is crucial in strengthening our work and in proving our model and approach to behaviour and social change.

We've developed an impact strategy that will drive standards of monitoring and evaluation, support evidence-based brand and programme design, and ensure continuing innovation in girl-centred research.

Explore the impact of our brands

How we got here


Since 2004, when the NIKE Foundation first began investing in girls, we've helped put girls at the centre of the development agenda. We've worked with over 150 partners in more than 80 countries, and we've spent thousands of hours alongside girls to fully understand their reality: their hopes, dreams, opportunities and challenges.


From the launch of the Girl Effect Film "The Clock is ticking" at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2009, to our collaborations with the Novo Foundation, the United Nations Foundation and multiple partners, we've challenged people to think differently about girls.


That understanding is embedded in our work and it's why our Girl Declaration ensured girls were embedded in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. We've seen governments, NGOs, private sector providers and international agencies work tirelessly to deliver services to ensure girls' health, safety, education, economic security and rights. But by working beyond single issues, we've got to know a girl's whole reality. We've seen that services are only part of the answer.

That's why, since becoming an independent entity from the NIKE Foundation in 2015, we've sharpened our focus on creating a new normal in which services are not just provided, but in which everybody demands them for girls. 


We're ambitious and optimistic. By 2020, our work will have 30 million active participants, inspiring more than 350 million people to create a new normal for girls.

Discover our work