International Day of the Girl: 9 organizations to support girls’ education around the globe

Donate to these organizations working to unlock opportunities for girls to build digital skills and lead the tech world forward.

By Deborah Lynn Blumberg — October 7, 2021

This year on International Day of the Girl, support organizations that support girls. Globally, girls are losing out when it comes to the essential skills they need to complete their education, compete in the workforce, or even to benefit from rapid advancements in digital technology. And even as they are poised to be the world’s largest generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs, girls are not benefitting equally.

In 2019, the gender gap for global internet users grew to 17% from 11% in 2013, and in the world’s least developed countries, it’s as high as 43%. Girls are also less likely than boys to use and own devices and gain access to tech-related skills and jobs. In low- and middle-income countries, just 54% of women access mobile internet.

Girl Rising

Statistics show that girls are less likely than boys to use and own devices and gain access to tech-related skills and jobs.

Nonprofit NABU is using technology to improve literacy by publishing digital children’s books in local languages.


Nonprofit NABU is using technology to improve literacy by publishing digital children’s books in local languages.

Girls aren’t gaining the essential digital and social entrepreneurship skills they ultimately need to compete in the workforce, earn higher wages, or start their own business. Currently, over 90% of jobs worldwide include a digital component, but less than a third of female students choose courses in math and engineering in higher education.

“Technology is quickly becoming the primary inroad to education, healthcare, and economic opportunity — amid COVID-19, it was the only road,” says Karen Kahn, head of corporate affairs and chief communications officer at HP. “For girls in communities where they are already being denied these fundamental rights, digital equity is critical. Without it, the gender gap and the digital divide will only grow.” 

That’s especially true at a time when the pandemic and political instability threaten to push back progress toward gender equity and stifle the confidence, networks, and knowledge girls need to create brighter futures for themselves and lead the world forward. During the pandemic, women ages 16 to 24 have faced higher rates of unemployment and many postponed their education, delaying their entry into the workforce.

“To achieve digital equity, we have to address the issues with equally diverse approaches, and support the various organizations on the ground already doing this work,” Kahn says.

On this year’s International Day of the Girl, October 11, the theme “Digital generation. Our generation.” urges all of us to help equip girls around the world with the digital tools, skills, and support they need to thrive.

Here are nine organizations you can support to do just that.

Amplifying stories by, for, and about girls

Girl Rising started as a 2013 film that showed how girls around the world were affected by the power of — or lack of — an education. Now, the organization creates content in 12 countries — educational resources, films, books, television and radio programming — for schools and other groups around gender equality, with the goal of empowering girls. For the past few years, HP has supported the Girl Rising “My Story” Storytelling Challenge, where young activists from all over the globe share the powerful first-person experiences that moved them to make a difference in their communities.



NABU tackles the digital divide by providing children’s books written in local languages both in printed form and on a low-bandwidth reading app, along with training writers and illustrators to create the stories. NABU partnered with HP and Girl Rising to publish stories such as I Love Being Me, which draws upon the experience of Japanese-American author Jessica Michibata, and Go Stella Go!, a story written in Swahili by Kenyan author Peter Ndiwa exploring universal themes of gender roles and stereotypes.



Girl Effect creates content in 20 countries across Africa and Asia — apps, chatbots, TV dramas, and magazines — that help girls make confident choices about their reproductive health, education, and employment. Its Ethiopian TV drama, Yegna, which addresses issues like early marriage to accessing health services, reached more than 10 million people nationwide; and it’s AI-powered chatbot Big Sis, a safe, private source of information about sexual health, has received more than 1.1 million messages from girls in South Africa and India.



RELATED: Why NABU’s Tanyella Evans wants to bringing local-language literature to children everywhere.
Young girl at school with glasses leaning over a science project.

STEM Like a Girl

This year’s International Day of the Girl has a theme of “Digital generation. Our generation.”

Supporting digital literacy and tech skills

Code to Inspire is the first coding school for women and girls in Afghanistan. Through its mission of “Rebuilding Afghanistan 2.0 where gender, digital, and economic divides no longer exist,” the group is working to help women add value to their communities and compete in the global tech market. Code to Inspire’s scholarship program has continued during the political and economic crisis in Afghanistan, and the organization has also been providing cash assistance to students and their families. 



Laboratoria runs a free six-month boot camp where female students in Latin America learn technical and life skills to work as front-end developers and UX designers. The organization helps match students with job opportunities. Once graduates land a job, they pay monthly installments to Laboratoria so other women can have the same opportunity. 



The Lagos, Nigeria-based Pearls Africa runs programs to help girls and women build tech and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills so they can achieve economic independence. Its flagship program, Girls Coding, gives girls ages 7 to17 access to hands-on learning in digital literacy and computer programming. Another program called Lady Labs provides a space where girls from the poorest communities can study computer science and build IT skills.


“To achieve digital equity, we have to address the issues with equally diverse approaches, and support the various organizations on the ground already doing this work.”

—Karen Kahn, global head of corporate affairs & chief communications officer, HP

Mentoring future tech leaders

To further its mission of building a diverse and inclusive tech workforce, Girls in Tech’s 50 chapters across the world connect girls and women to tech mentors, help entrepreneurs get funding through a startup pitch competition, and run coding, design, and startup boot camps.



Technovation is a global education nonprofit that pairs girls ages 8 to18 with volunteer mentors who help them build skills and solve real-world problems with technology. Participants identify problems in their own communities, build teams with other girls and parents, and learn to code mobile apps or create artificial intelligence-driven projects to solve them. Seventy-six percent of the girls who have participated have pursued STEM degrees.



Girls Who Code is committed to building a pipeline of future female engineers. Its coding clubs, summer immersion programs, and college programs to help alumni succeed are all designed to close the gender gap in technology and alter the image of what a programmer looks like and does.