News and Stories - Education - 28 April 2021

Educate girls, transform the world

Educate girls, transform the world

Why is investing in girls’ education so important?

Every child on the planet deserves the chance to reach their full potential, regardless of their gender. But poverty and injustice are dark realities for many, and girls are disproportionately affected. In times of crises, girls are more than twice as likely to be out of school than boys. Once they’ve dropped out, 2 in 3 girls will never return.

“Gender inequality and discrimination know no borders. This isn’t restricted to any one community, culture or continent. Half the world’s population is being held back by gender-based discrimination, but it doesn’t have to be this way – it’s something we have the power to change.

Education is the key to unlocking a better, more equal world. One where girls can grow up safely, access countless opportunities, and break the cycle of poverty – not just for themselves, but for their families and future generations. Education empowers girls to choose their own futures and create a better world for all.

When we focus on investing in a community at large, girls often miss out. When we target our investment on girls, no one misses out.

Investing in girls’ education is life-changing for girls themselves – but the ripple effect it can have for entire communities and countries has the potential to truly transform our world.

Da, 6, and her friend enjoy their Lao lesson at school.
Da, 6, and her friend enjoy their Lao lesson at school.

What is the Girls Education & Empowerment Fund?

The Girls Education & Empowerment Fund is our new multi-year giving initiative designed to address the barriers preventing girls from accessing and completing a quality education, to support an entire generation of girls to finish school and choose their own futures.

To achieve this kind of long-term change, we need a long-term plan. That’s why we ask supporters of the fund to commit to a multi-year pledge of a meaningful amount for five years.

Your contributions are pooled with other donors and used to leverage further funding in the form of multi-year grants from our institutional partners, like the World Food Programme and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, effectively multiplying your impact by 2x (or more).

Every girl has the right to go to school, pursue the life she wants, and own the decisions that will shape her future. A girl who gets the chance to complete her education becomes a woman who can transform the lives of those around her.


Educating girls leads to:

Educate girls, transform the world

Multi-Generational Change

A girl who can stay in school is more likely to grow into an adult who marries later, chooses if and when she’d like to have children, has a healthier family, earns a greater income, and pursues the life she wants.

A girl who completes an education becomes a woman who can transform the lives of those around her.

Educate girls, transform the world

Improved economic outcomes and employment opportunities

Educating girls lifts more people out of poverty – for each 1% increase in female education, a country’s GDP rises by 0.37%.

If all girls are able to finish their secondary education or equivalent, our global GDP can increase by 10% over the next decade.1

Educate girls, transform the world

More children surviving infancy and growing up healthy

If every girl completed 12 years of schooling, the number of babies born early would fall by 59% and infant deaths would drop by 49%.2

Educated mothers are also more likely to vaccinate their children and have access to healthier lifestyle options.

Educate girls, transform the world

Stopping child marriage

12 years of education for every girl would reduce child marriage worldwide by 64%.3 This is because an educated girl is less likely to be forced into marriage.

On top of this, educated mothers are more likely to invest in their daughters’ education and stop the cycle of early marriage.

Educate girls, transform the world

A sustainable climate

For every year a girl stays in school, her country’s climate resilience measurably improves. And studies also show that female leaders are incredibly effective in conservation and protection efforts, and are more likely to pursue more sustainable futures for their communities.

Access to education is one of the most effective and cost-effective contributions to adapting to climate change and can support mitigation through improved life skills, green skills and more environmentally responsible decision-making.4

Plan International Australia supporter, Dr Gary Leong is helping to break down the barriers to girls education through the Girls Education & Empowerment Fund.


Dr. Gary Leong
Dr. Gary Leong

“As a father of two beautiful intelligent girls and a paediatrician, to see so many girls around the world not be able to reach their full potential is a global tragedy. This is why I have committed over the next 5 years to support Plan International’s vision with the Girls Education & Empowerment Fund to promote global change and empower girls’ health, literacy, and education.”

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