Why Girls?

The importance of gender equality

Right now, there are more than half a billion adolescent girls living on our planet1 and all of them at some point in their lives, will be disproportionately affected by gender inequality.


Inequality knows no borders, and isn’t restricted to any one community, culture or continent. That’s why we’re working to fight gender inequality around the world.


Because a better now for her, means a better future for everyone.

12M girls
12M girls
12 million girls are forced to marry as children every year2
Every 10mins
Every 10mins
Every 10 minutes, one adolescent girl dies as a result of violence3
130M girls
130M girls
More than 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

When girls are supported to speak up, know their rights and lead, their entire family and community benefits – and they can create a better, more equal world.

  • Educating girls is one of the most effective – and most overlooked – ways to mitigate climate change. For every year a girl stays in school, her country’s climate resilience measurably improves. 5
  • Every additional year of school a girl completes cuts rates of infant mortality by 5 to 10%. 6
  • 12 years of education for every girl would reduce child marriage worldwide by 64 percent. 6

When girls are able to complete their secondary education or equivalent, they are more likely to have control over their income, to marry later, and have a healthier family. And she’ll go on to educate her family and her community. When girls can get an education, manage their health, live free from violence, and pursue their dreams, they can take their rightful place as equals.

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.

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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

5. Conservation International: Want to fight climate change? Educate girls

6. Safer, Healthier, Wealthier: How G20 investments in girls’ education improve our world, 2017