The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge.
How can you challenge the status quo and help forge a gender equal world?
2021 marks the start of a landmark effort by governments, corporations and change-makers around the world to accelerate progress for gender equality by 2030: The Generation Equality Forum. It comes at a critical moment, as Covid-19 serves to exacerbate existing gender inequalities.
If you want to do something to show your support but you’re not sure what, here’s a good place to start: find out more about 5 charities that help get more women into work.
“Mary runs a trekking company in Kenya and she's training women to be travel guides.”
You, together with the women whose lives are affected by these charities, can help march us towards that 2030 goal.
1. Malala Fund
If you’re not already familiar with Malala’s extraordinary journey from schoolgirl and education activist in Pakistan to the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate, read up now. Her campaign, Malala Fund, supports the work of educators and advocates and helps bolster girls’ secondary education around the world. In Afghanistan, for example, where opportunities for young girls to learn are limited by a lack of female teachers and by families’ long-held cultural beliefs that don’t allow men to teach their daughters, Malala Fund is helping by recruiting more female teachers. Find out more and donate.
“Vickie is involved with a charity that rehabilitates young women who were sex trafficked.”
2. Plan International
Plan International promotes free, equal access to quality education for all children, and they aim to directly provide millions of girls across the world with safe, quality, gender-transformative education. The knock on effect of helping these girls develop skills and find their voices is that they become the home, community and country leaders of tomorrow. Plan International’s gender-transformative programmes work teachers in classrooms but also with communities, governments, religious leaders and families. Find out more and donate.
3. Women for Women International
When you support Women for Women International, you help women survivors of war rebuild their lives. Through hands-on vocational training, the Stronger Women, Stronger Nations programmes builds women’s self-reliance in key areas such as rights and decision-making, health and wellness, earnings and savings, and support networks. It’s all about helping women seize their power and reclaim their rights. Find out more and donate.
“Fran works with a school in Uganda for girls and women only. It's called Kitojoempoweredgirlsproject.”
4. Smart Works
UK-based charity Smart Works helps unemployed women in need gain the confidence, self-belief and practical skills they need to succeed at job interviews. It starts with a styling session, where trained volunteers transform the women into new and impressive versions of themselves. There’s one-to-one interview coaching too. The result is that 65% of women go on to get the job; spectacularly impressive given that 50% of women referred to Smart Works have been unsuccessful in 20+ job applications. Find out more and donate.
5. One Girl Can
By supporting individual girls in Africa to realize their potential, One Girl Can is helping build a generation of well-educated women who can positively affect the growth of an entire community. The charity works by building or renovating safe, secure girls’ schools, offering scholarships and growing mentorship programmes. Find out more and donate.
When we asked you how you support women around the world, we were overwhelmed – and inspired – by your responses. Here are a few:
- “I sponsor 5 children, 4 of which are girls and pay for all their school fees, tutors, books, etc. I visited 2 of them in Zambia in 2019 to better assess their needs.”
- “For years I mentored and tutored children and now I financially support a school in Mbita Kenya as part of The Village Experience, founded by Kelly Campbell. She is the reason I found this way of helping. Funds are used for teacher’s salaries, uniforms and books for the students. I also support a youth initiative in Lamu Kenya. I’ve purchased the laptops for their startup. There are so many children that can use a helping hand and I spread it out as far as I can without watering it down so much it barely helps.”
- “I run a trekking company called StandOutAdventures in Kenya. It wasn't easy to start off in a male dominated world. Being a single woman, I had to give back to my community. In my guiding career I am training women to be your guides. I have helped several street young women to set up business, today they are out of there doing great as well as helping others. Today I am training women to be your guides and mountain guides.”
- “I have NEVER met her but [a lady in my group] has been very productive for kids in my village. She teaches them English online and also has contributed to their Xmas. She is such an ANGEL SENT TO THESE KIDS.”
- “I founded C.R.E.E.R, a transit centre for trafficked, exploited and abused children in Cote d'Ivoire, a lot in cocoa are child labourers and we educate the children until we can repatriate them, we ensure with the justice system that they get an education when going home too.”
- “I did a bit of research on my drive from Europe through Africa and now I work to get girls into high school in Zimbabwe.”
Thank you for all your messages! It feels good to know that there is help in the world and that we are all working towards a gender equal world.
Are there any other projects and charities we should know about? Please comment below. We'd love to hear about them.