8 ways to make the case for girls

Knowledge is power. And with the information you need to make the case for girls at your fingertips, you have the power to make the girl effect a reality, wherever you are.

The latest news, programmes, stats and reports from around the world can support and improve global development. This is how you can use them to make the case for girls in 8 different ways:

Policies for ending FGM

"I felt like if I didn't carry on with what I was doing, I'd be doing exactly the same as the government and educational authorities. Neglecting the abuse," says activist Muna Hassan. Inspirational people such as Muna have been campaigning tirelessly against female genital mutilation (FGM) for years, leading to new policies, analysis and proposals from the EU. The overviews in the Library of the European Parliament show how these documents are written, what they contain and how you can replicate them. 

Preventing violence case study

Taking recent activity in Sierra Leone as a case study, it's clear that by making changes to governmental structures, you can challenge violence against girls and women (VAGW). Slowly but surely, increased availability to the legal process (courts extending the working week to Saturday to hear only gender-related cases) has led to more cases being reported and more convictions.

Innovations in education

An education gives a girl much more than the ability to read and write. It gives her a future, the chance to earn money and, ultimately, the chance to pass those chances on to the next generation. Recently published UN statistics show that progress is being made, but it's not evenly spread. To make sure it is, you can look to examples from India, where Unicef has been highlighting the key role the media can play in improving girls' education, and Sierra Leone, where a scholarship turned a teenage girl's life around.

How to keep girls safe

"Protecting girls and women is an everyday, everywhere issue for everyone," said Gordon Campbell, Canadian high commissioner to the UK, during the recent #KeepHerSafe event organised by the Department for International Development (DFID). Bringing countries and organisations together, the event captured valuable information and turned it into a collective Storify feed you can use to find quotes, useful contacts and links.

Improving family planning

Improvements have been made since the London Family Planning Summit last year, but the ongoing practice of child marriage means there's still a long way to go before girls have 'full access, full choice' in family planning.

The link between family planning and child marriage is strong - we cannot improve one without improving the other. Use the latest data collected in India suggesting urbanisation is a factor in rising child marriage rates to prove it.

To find out more, you should read Girls not Brides' list of things you should know about family planning, and then build your case with this infographic showing how birth control is good for the economy.

A model safe-spaces programme

When girls feel safe, they can go to school, make friends and gain the skills and experiences they need to flourish. In Uganda, a new programme from BRAC is providing girls with 20 safe spaces where they can complete their education and receive a microloan. Available for you to download, the programme is the perfect example of how you can help girls in the developing world to feel safe and give them the opportunity to lead confident, dignified lives.

Powerful girl voices

If you want an example of how girls can demonstrate insight, articulate their beliefs and persuade the world to listen to them, look no further than this 16-year-old from Uganda. Her logic, passion and eloquence when she talks about the need for governments to listen to girls like her is incredible.

Climate change and poverty

It's impossible to separate girls' lives from any of the big issues the world faces. The Warsaw Climate Change Conference took place last month, so what better time to look to the Plan International report Weathering the storm: Adolescent girls and climate change? It sets out what girls' priorities are (education, protection from violence, a role in policy-making) and is free for you to download and share.

Which resources have you found helpful in your development work with girls? Let us know and keep up to date with all the latest on Twitter or Facebook