7 ways you can change the world for girls

All over the world, girls are making huge progress in education, health, safety and all of the other issues that affect them every day. Thanks to this, girls are bringing an end to global poverty ever closer – and with your help, we can make sure this progress continues.

Protect girls in the Philippines

When a major natural disaster hits, girls and women are the most vulnerable and often the worst affected. Thousands of girls from the Philippines are now at increased risk of violence, rape, forced marriage and trafficking following Typhoon Haiyan. To make sure girls can protect themselves, with aid tailored to these specific risks that threaten their safety, the UK's Department for International Development's (DFID) has a plan. Justine Greening has called for an increase in aid to girls, so make sure your donation does just that by donating via UK charities. Your money will go twice as far, because every public donation made this way will be doubled by the UK government. 

Help girls like Malala go to school

An extra year in primary school boosts a girl’s eventual wages by 10 to 20 per cent, and the return doesn’t end there. Those girls are likely to provide themselves and their families with more education opportunities, passing the investment on, time and time again. Malala Yousafzai has done an incredible amount to get girls' education on the global agenda, but there is still a long way to go. Her native Pakistan is falling short of meeting many Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Malala's book has recently been banned from some schools in the country. Lend your voice to Malala's education campaign and speak up on why education matters.

Get family planning right for girls

Access to family planning services and information doesn’t just benefit girls; it benefits their communities and countries too. "Family planning is one of the best investments a country can make for its future," said UK DFID minister Lynne Featherstone at the International Conference on Family Planning in Ethiopia last week. She's right: pregnancy and childbirth is the No1 killer of girls worldwide. You can help girls get the information they need by downloading our family planning for girls checklist, sharing it with your networks and ensuring it can help get family planning right for the 120 million girls around the world who are currently underserved.

Scale up the battle to end FGM

Years of tireless campaigning has brought FGM into mainstream media and led to a UK commitment to eradicating FGM worldwide. This kind of exposure makes girls who are affected feel like they can speak up, share their experiences and say no to the practice. TV documentary The Cruel Cut, presented by Daughters of Eve co-founder Leyla Hussain, is one such example. We need more campaigners like Leyla to be heard and more governments to commit funding and resources to tackling the issue. You can champion ending FGM by becoming an Orchid Project ambassador.  

Stop child marriage

To say no to child marriage, girls need the right laws and government support to back them up. The Israeli government raised the legal age of marriage to 18 recently, and the chair of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has called for a blanket end to the practice. With more new policies and high-level support like this, a complete end to child marriage is possible. You can lend your support to Girls not Brides' work in engaging men in the battle against child marriage.

Keep girls safe with tech 

When girls feel confident and safe enough to report harassment, sexual violence against girls and women will stop, and their lives will improve. Take Egypt for example, where political uprisings, riots and a dramatic loss of public order in 2013 are responsible for a sharp increase in sexual violence against women. It is now the worst country in the Arab world to be a girl, according to a new report. Check out our case study on HarassMap to find out how girls are using technology to change perceptions and end violence.

Give a girl someone to talk to 

The best mentor is one you can relate to. That's why health and education charity Act4Africa is on a drive to raise funds to sponsor young peer educators. As community-based role models young girls can relate to, these young women are taught about HIV/Aids-related issues and gender equality so that they can pass on what they know to other girls. By sponsoring a peer educator, you can be part of this snowball effect.