Why Girls?

The importance of gender equality

Hunger, economic instability, climate change and conflict are devastating the lives of millions, pushing them further into disadvantage and inequality. Girls, globally, bear the greatest burden of this injustice – denied education, subjected to violence, and robbed of their freedoms.


But when offered the opportunity to learn, make decisions, thrive, and lead the change, we see girls rise to help create a better world for themselves, their families and the communities around them.

12 million girls
12 million girls
are forced to marry as children every year2
Every 10 minutes
Every 10 minutes
one adolescent girl dies as a result of violence3
130 million+ girls
130 million+ girls
around the globe are not in school4

Half the world’s population is being held back by inequality

How we can tackle gender inequality

Dismantling the underlying inequalities that cause poverty is central to our development and humanitarian work.

Our approach starts with assessing and understanding where the need is greatest, and who is most disadvantaged, then designing our programs to ensure real needs are met and the root causes are addressed.

When given the opportunity firstly to simply survive, and then to learn, make decisions, thrive in life, and lead the change in their communities, girls rise to help create a better world for themselves, their families and the communities around them.

We support girls so that they can get an education, manage their health, live free from violence, and pursue their dreams, so they can take their rightful place as equals.

We’ve also developed a research tool, Gender Compass, that segments the broader Australian public into six groups according to their views on gender equality. This tool is essential in helping to shift harmful attitudes against women. It has been shared publicly and freely for all to use.

How you can support girls

You can stand with girls and their families and empower them to speak up, to know their rights and lead. Make a regular donation to Plan International Australia through our Change for Girls program, and together we can create a better, more equal world for all.

You can also join us on International Day of the Girl, 11 October, as we celebrate the power of girls and highlight to barriers they face.

Learn more about our work and our impact.

A woman riding a bicycle with the heading: Towards gender equality

Keep up to date

1 UNICEF Data, There are 1.3 billion adolescents (aged 10-19 years) in the world today making up 16 per cent of the world’s population (April 2022).

2 UNICEF global databases, 2022

3 UNICEF, A Statistical Snapshot of Violence against Adolescent Girls, New York (2014) p.1

4 The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), One in Five Children, Adolescents and Youth is Out of School, (2018) p.2

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