World News

Help move womankind forward

Posted June 21, 2018 1:08 p.m. EDT

— Reports of abuse against women and girls around the world are discouraging. But organizations are fighting back. From ending child marriage to stopping violence -- from education rights to gender equality, here are some of the groups standing up for women that you can be part of.

Gender equality

According to the World Economic Forum, equality is 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:

Education

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.

Girls make up more than half 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:

Child brides

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 the practice of forcing girls into marriage:

Violence against women

Safety is a paramount concern for women. The World Health Organization estimates 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: