Take Action

Link with relevant NGOs to develop your own CSR initiative

There are plenty of ways in which business can have a positive impact on the lives of adolescent girls and young women both through their operations as well as through partnerships with Non-Governmental Organisations that are improving the lives of girls around the world.

Click on each theme to learn more about what NGOs are doing to improve the outlook for girls in those issues.

Studies have found positive returns for businesses that invest in the health of their female employees and go beyond regular health and safety compliance. Access to contraception, abortions, safe births, pre- and post-natal care and basic healthcare information directly relate to women’s productivity in the workplace. Businesses that also strive to address gender-based violence, including harassment and abuse at work, contribute to women’s security both in work and in the community as a whole.

Stats
  • A Breeze of Hope

    A Breeze of Hope provides free holistic therapeutic support to child and adolescent survivors of sexual violence, including alternative therapies such as dance, yoga, sculpting, baking, and art.

  • SPRING

    SPRING is a human-centred design accelerator working with businesses in East Africa and South Asia to improve access to products or services that help girls to learn, earn, save and stay safe. The programme is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, USAID and Nike Foundation

  • Save the Children

    Save the Children is committed to providing health and nutrition programmes that save children's lives and ensure they grow up healthy.

  • PSI International

    PSI works to make it easier for girls and young women to lan the families they desire, have safe pregnancies and deliveries, and protect themselves and their families from serious health issues.

  • Marie Stopes International

    Marie Stopes provides quality family planning and reproductive healthcare to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

  • HERhealth

    HERhealth improves health-related knowledge and behaviors and access to health services and products for low-income working women in global supply chains


  • Denis Mukwabe Health Project

    The Panzi Hospital provides a number of services for women and children including fistula repairs, nutrition support and HIV/AIDS treatment. 

  • Oxfam

    Oxfam is reducing the spread of diseases through improved sanitation facilities and by improving the standards of health care.

Education is a key driver of economic and social development. Despite the narrowing gender gap in education in recent years, girls and young women continue to face disadvantages in access to education, especially at secondary and tertiary level. This is particularly prominent in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Reasons for this vary but include restrictive cultural norms, poverty, conflict, pregnancy and early marriage. Understanding the educational indicators of a country will help businesses make meaningful decisions regarding labour force investment and the promotion of female employment.

Stats
  • Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT)

    Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) delivers leadership, digital literacy, entrepreneurship, and innovation skills training through a proven youth-led, peer-to-peer model. DOT also works with schools to leverage ICT in education, and provides education for youth in refugee communities in the Middle East, with a focus on women and girls.

  • GlobalGirl Media UK

    GlobalGirl Media UK (GGM UK) develops the voice and media literacy of teenage girls and young women in under-served communities by teaching them to create and share digital journalism designed to ignite community activism and spark social change. Through mentoring, training and access to a worldwide network of distribution partners, GlobalGirl Media harnesses the power of new digital media to empower young women bringing their often-overlooked perspectives onto the global media stage.  

  • A Breeze of Hope

    A Breeze of Hope Foundation provides student-centered education to children from impoverished communities in Bolivia, focusing on non-violent conflict resolution and non-discriminatory gender relations.

  • SPRING

    SPRING is a human-centred design accelerator working with businesses in East Africa and South Asia to improve access to products or services that help girls to learn, earn, save and stay safe. The programme is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, USAID and Nike Foundation. 

  • The International Rescue Commmittee

    The International Rescue Committee has been providing educational services for vulnerable people affected by conflict for more than 30 years, including formal primary education, pre-schools, and technical & vocational training.

  • Plan International

    Plan International promotes free and equal access to quality education for all children.

  • CARE International

    CARE is helping communities and girls breaking down barriers to education, including violence, hunger, child marriage and the belief that girls aren't worth teaching.

  • Save the Children

    Save the Children supports education programmes in the classroom and at home to enable children to reach their full potential.

In many countries, women and girls do not have the same rights as men in access to, and control of, property and other assets. Women’s legal capacity is also limited in some countries, where they might need the permission of their husband or another male family member to work, access education or travel. Issues such as these arise due to cultural and religious norms, and the precedence of gender-discriminating customary law. Equal access to and control of assets are critical for women’s empowerment.

As business regulations do not differentiate between genders, responsible companies operating in regions where women cannot hold property rights, or require the permission of a husband or father to work, cannot presuppose that female employees can enter into contracts and move about freely. Understanding the gendered biases of the legal landscape will help businesses to adopt policies that provide for fair and equal treatment for female staff. 

Stats
  • A Breeze of Hope

    A Breeze of Hope provides free legal services to survivors of sexual violence, including prosecution of sex offenders, and has established the highest conviction rate in the world.

  • African Initiatives

    African Initiatives works with women, men, girls and boys in communities to raise awareness and slowly create a sustainable change in which women’s voices are heard and their rights respected.

  • WomanKind International

    Womenkind works with women's rights organisations to stop violence against women and end inequality.

  • The International Rescue Commmittee

    The International Rescue Committee works to break the cycle of violence against women by helping survivors to heal, delivering care to victims of sexual assault, and by bringing women together for mutual support.

  • CARE International

    CARE empowers women by delivering knowledge and support to women so that they can forge new opportunities.

  • Plan International

    Young women are the majority of the 628 million young people aged 15-24 who have neither a job nor an education. Plan International's Youth Economic Empowerment approach offers a holistic model for vocational training and youth economic empowerment.

  • Plan International

    The Because I am a Girl campaign supports millions of girls in getting the education, skills and support they need to move from poverty to a future of opportunity.

  • HERrespect

    HERrespect promotes positive gender relations in the workplace and family through training, policy development, and peer support groups.

  • Oxfam

    Oxfam is committed to unlocking women's potential by ensuring women are consulted on all projects that help realise their rights and needs, including access to education, health care, loans and business training so that their economic opportunities are enhanced.

  • Girls Not Brides

    Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of 500+ civil society organisations committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential.

  • Unchained At Last

    Unchained At Last is the only nonprofit in the United States dedicated to helping women and girls leave or avoid arranged and forced marriages and rebuild their lives.

Research continuously demonstrates that economically empowered women and girls create more productive societies. Yet, across the world, women face greater obstacles than men in the labour market. Businesses that encourage women’s participation in the labour force are actively contributing to substantial positive multiplier effects within communities. For example, households in which women have an income usually invest more in the family’s health and educational outcomes. 

Stats
  • Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT)

    Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) delivers leadership, digital literacy, entrepreneurship, and innovation skills training through a proven youth-led, peer-to-peer model. DOT develops young women in its network to become role models, trainers, and innovators in their communities, and supports them to devise digitally-enabled solutions to local challenges.

  • A Breeze of Hope

    A Breeze of Hope provides free vocational training to survivors of sexual violence, helping them become economically independent, start their own businesses, and find meaningful and gainful employment. 

  • SPRING

    SPRING is a human-centred design accelerator working with businesses in East Africa and South Asia to improve access to products or services that help girls to learn, earn, save and stay safe. The programme is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, USAID and Nike Foundation. 

  • Global Communities

    Global Communities works to provide women and young people with access to resources, employment, and education to reduce inequality and to promote their full participation in their community.

  • Global Communities

    Global Communities supports the development of micro, small and medium-size enterprises through entrepreneurship training, access to finance, market linkages and technical capacity development.

  • Education for Employment

    Education for Employment provides youth in North Africa and the Middle East with the skills and opportunities they need to build careers that create a better future for themselves, their communities, and the world.

  • Junior Achievement

    JA Worldwide provides young people with cutting edge skill-building that enables young people to find meaningful, productive careers.

  • Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

    The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women empowers women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies. Its programmes offer innovative solutions to the challenges facing women, supporting them to access the skills, technology, networks and financial services they need to establish and grow successful and sustainable businesses. The work of the Foundation is delivered through three core programmes: the Mobile Technology Programme, the Mentoring Women in Business Programme and the Enterprise Development Programme.

  • HERfinance

    HERfinance builds the financial capability of low-income workers by delivering financial education programs and connecting factory employees to appropriate financial services.

  • Plan International

    The Plan International Solutions for Youth Employment coalition aims to improve youth access to work opportunities.

  • Lensational

    Lensational equips marginalised women and girls in developing countries with cameras and photography training, so that they can be emotionally and economically empowered.

The percentage of people living in urban areas is expected to rise in Latin America from 78% in 2014 to 90% by 2050, in Africa from 36% in 2010 to 62% by 2050 and in Asia from 43% in 2010 to 65% by 2050. One in four people in cities live in slum areas, which are growing rapidly. Many girls move in the hope to improve their job and income security as well as their access to education, transport and health services. Some girls also move to escape hardships, including child marriage and poverty. However, migration brings new challenges, including vulnerability to exploitation, water and air pollution, and higher costs of living.

In particular, girls migrating internationally for work face higher risks of exploitation due to language barriers and the lack of a social support network. Understanding the needs of migrant girls will help businesses to capitalise on their skills and minimise the likelihood of association with forced labour and human trafficking.

Stats
  • UN Women

    UN Women is an active advocate of safe migration for women both globally and in many of the most affected countries.

     

  • UN Habitat

    UN Habitat campaigns for gender equality in human settlements and urban planning to enhance the inclusivity of cities.

  • International Organisation for Migration

    The IOM works to counter trafficking through partnerships with governmental institutions, NGOs and international organisations.

Conflict disproportionately affects women and girls, with rates of sexual and gender-based violence rising dramatically during and following periods of unrest. In some instances, rape is systematically used as a weapon of war. Likewise, social roles change when communities become uprooted during conflicts; women are often left as sole caregivers for children when men are involved in fighting or defending their assets. Conflict can exacerbate women and children’s vulnerability to abuse and exploitation in their efforts to earn a living for their families. Decreased access to healthcare, safe water and educational services further exacerbates their vulnerability. Understanding how women and girls are negatively impacted by conflict and security arrangements is crucial to responsible business operations in emergency contexts. Businesses sourcing from, or operating in, conflict zones may be doing so in regions where the governance is weak or the rule of law is absent. Therefore, responsible businesses may choose to invest in the protection of women and girls in emergency situations.

 

Stats
  • Médecins Sans Frontiéres

    MSF brings humanitarian medical assistance to victims of conflict, natural disasters, epidemics or healthcare exclusion.

  • United States Institute of Peace

    The United States Institute of Peace works to include women in peace negotiations to ensure that all voices from conflicts are heard.

  • Save the Children

    Save the Children is working around the clock to meet children's unique health, education and protection needs in conflict zones.

  • UNHCR

    The UNHCR works to protect refugees shelter, food, water, medical care and protecton from violence.

  • Search for Common Ground

    Search for Common Ground builds the skills of women and girls, from national politicians to small business owners, to lead for the good of all.

  • Norwegian Refugee Council

    The Norweigan Refugee Council provides assistance, protection and durable solutions to refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide.

  • The International Rescue Commmittee

    The International Rescue Committee's emergency response team provides human rights protection, addresses special needs of children in crisis, and works to prevent sexual violence and aid for rape survivors.