“Girl power” is not a cliché. Because of all the women and girls who tackle global problems without hesitation, it’s a reality—and an important ideology that will change the world for the better.
Empowering girls has a disproportionately high impact on solving the world’s development issues. According to the Girl Effect, investing in girls’ education, health, safety, and careers from a young age (whether in the U.S. or abroad) ensures that they’ll become the community-leading women that can make all the difference for a family, and a community. Fortunately, there are organizations in the United States that give American girls the opportunity to make a difference not only for themselves, but for their global counterparts, too. Here are five organizations you can get involved with to jump-start this change. Let the girl power commence!
- girltank – girltank shouts to the hilltops: “We’re dreamers. We’re disrupters. We’re doers.” This online community helps female social entrepreneurs grow their ventures through storytelling, seed funding, solidarity, and more. They even have a magazine on their web site that will be like the bff to your entrepreneurial spirit.
- She’s the First – What are you the first to do? This non-profit organization loves firsts, especially when they can help girls around the world become the first in their families to graduate. She’s the First helps students in the United States and beyond develop creative fundraising techniques that sponsors girls’ education in developing countries. From tie-dye cupcake bakeoffs to activity-fueled 5Ks and Zumbathons, She’s the First knows how to put the “fun” in fundraisers during their annual campaigns! Become a trailblazer by starting a She’s the First chapter at your school.
- Girl Up –A campaign of the United Nations Foundation, Girl Up provides girls with the opportunity to become global leaders by raising money and awareness about issues facing girls in developing countries. You can join celebrities like Victoria Justice and Nigel Barker in the Girl Up movement by starting a club at your school or applying to be a part of Girl Up’s teen advisory board.
- More Than Me Foundation – After working for a year in post-war Liberia, Katie Meyler felt moved to start a non-profit organization to help Liberian children – mostly girls – get off the streets and into school. Working with community leaders, the org identifies girls with the highest risk of sexual exploitation “to ensure that education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, defines their lives,” according to their mission. More Than Me has also provided community support during Liberia’s Ebola outbreak. One way to help is by hosting a “Promise Party,” during which guests are encouraged to contribute a donation.
- Girls Who Code – There are not nearly enough women in computer science. According to the Girls Who Code web site, women represent a mere 12% of computer science grads. That’s it. But that percentage can be so much more. Girls Who Code hopes to help change that by providing resources and opportunities for girls to learn more about careers in engineering and tech – and get excited by them, too. First launched as an eight-week program during the summer of 2012 in New York City, the organization teaches girls how to build mobile apps and web sites with dashes of entrepreneurial spirit.