06 March 2020
2 min read

Educating girls and empowering women through family planning is one of the best ways to take action on climate change.

Despite being a human right, 130 million girls around the world, are not in school. And 15 million girls of primary-school age will never set foot in a classroom.

And as we reflect on International Women’s Day’s theme, Each for Equal, it’s important to highlight the inequality women still face. Because when women and girls are treated as equal to men and boys, indeed, the world will be a better place.

According to Project Drawdown, a leading source on climate solutions, girls’ education and family planning are one the most effective ways to take positive action on climate change.

The more years a girl spends in school, the more likely she is to make her own positive and empowered choices. She will often grow up and marry later, having fewer children (an important aspect in keeping CO2emissions down). Educated women often go on to run their own businesses in the community and can contribute positively to food systems, leading to improved agricultural yields and therefore reduced deforestation rates.         

Women who are properly educated about family planning, with access to contraception and reproductive health resources have fewer children as well as reducing their own poverty.

Yet, despite being one of the most effective ways to fight climate change and poverty, millions of women and girls still lack adequate education and family planning services.

At Australian Ethical, our Foundation has a strategic focus to combat climate change. That’s why we ensure some of our funding supports women and girls programs providing education, family planning and economic empowerment.

Here are the great organisations we’re working with to make a difference.

One Girl

One Girl’s mission is to harness the power of education to drive change for girls and their communities. They work in Sierra Leone and Uganda, providing girl-led programs supporting girls and young women to overcome barriers in accessing education and succeed inside and outside the classroom.

Their programs focus on supporting girls to complete their schooling, building entrepreneurship, business and life skills, improving gender equality in the classroom, and increasing knowledge in sexual and reproductive health and menstrual hygiene management.

Free to Shine

In Cambodia, a country where young girls are at risk of human trafficking, Free to Shine offers a light for at-risk girls. Working to reach the most at-risk rural girls, Free to Shine reduce their vulnerability to trafficking by improving access to education and providing them with social work support. Through their work they address the complex barriers education: poverty, hunger, illness, family violence, family breakdown, addiction, parent’s unemployment, migration and debt.

Love Mercy  

Love Mercy works with women, smallholder farmers in Uganda, providing small loans, business advice and personal assistance to ensure they flourish in their communities. These women are able to provide an income for their families and send their children to school. They also support local health initiatives focused on maternal and infant health.