International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate female achievement and also take action. Impact Your World has identified ways you can help a variety of important causes for women everywhere.
This year, the social media hashtag #PressforProgress is the rallying call to create gender parity around the globe.
According to the World Economic Forum, equality right now is actually in retreat, and it will take another century for both genders to stand on equal footing.
You can help by supporting these organizations working toward gender equality:
The U.S. National Committee for UN Women
Education is key to unlocking opportunity, but less than 40% of countries around the world provide girls and boys with equal access to education, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO).
Girls make up more than half of the children not in school, and there is little opportunity to learn later in life. Two thirds of the 774 million illiterate adults are women.
Here are some of the organizations helping girls get greater access to education:
Let Girls Learn
Room to Read
The Malala Fund
As many as 15 million girls each year become child brides, destroying childhoods, killing freedoms and blocking opportunities.
The nonprofit Unchained At Last reports that girls who are married at age 18 or younger are 50% more likely to drop out of school, more likely to earn low wages and are three times more likely to be beaten by their spouses than those who marry as an adult.
These organizations are fighting against the practice of forcing girls into marriage:
Girls not Brides
Violence against women
Safety is a paramount concern for women. The World Health Organization estimates that about 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual violence. They also face the threat of being kidnapped. At least 71% of human trafficking victims, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, are women and girls, who are usually sold into marriage or sexual slavery.
You can find a global list of anti-trafficking organizations at CNN’s Freedom Project. Here are organizations working to stop violence against women, and provide help to victims who need a way out:
Love is Respect
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)