What happens when a group of filmmakers and journalists set out to answer the age-old question: How do we end global poverty? It turns out they harness the power of storytelling into a global movement to educate girls, called Girl Rising.

It started in 2009 when reaching out to experts across the development spectrum, says Christina Lowery, CEO of Girl Rising. They spoke with people who worked on HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, agriculture, clean water, and other aspects of development to ask what are the best ways to reduce poverty.

“No matter who we spoke to, somewhere in their list of top five things that needed to happen to improve outcomes in their sector and address poverty was, ‘Well, really, you have to get girls in school and keep them there,’” says Lowery.

They dug into the data and found a “mountain of evidence,” as Lowery puts it, on what happens when you educate girls and when they go on to become leaders:

  • A girl with one extra year of education can earn 10 to 20 percent more as an adult.
  • If India enrolled 1 percent more girls in secondary school, their GDP would rise by $5.5 billion.
  • Girls with 8 years of education are four times less likely to be married as children.
  • And for every additional year of schooling a girl receives, her country’s resilience to climate disasters improves by 3.2 points as measured by the ND-GAIN Index.

Yet, very little money is invested into girls’ education and more than 130 million girls remain out of school.

Read the full article about Girl Rising by Joanne Lu at Gloabl Washington.