Post after post I have been uncovering the treatment of women in every corner of the globe on every continent (besides Antarctica). I’ve talked about poverty, Female Genital Mutilation, sexual harassment, domestic violence, lack of access to healthcare and education… but how is the international community working to address the issues and help these women who cannot raise their voices? Well many organizations have emerged over the best few decades to address these issues in dozens and dozens of countries where women are fighting for daily safety, rights, and humanitarian freedoms.
Here are a few well established organizations that are working to promote women:
V-Day raises awareness about ending violence perpetuated against women. This non-profit international organization uses the arts to highlight violence around the world. The stage hundreds of performances of “The Vagina Monologues”, several different documentaries, and workshops all over the world each and every year. They were able to build the first ever women’s shelter in Iraq and Egypt and even participated in the Afghan Women’s Summit. They focus primarily in Middle Eastern and African countries and plan to continue connecting local women’s organizations with female victims. They recently had a campaign called “One Billion Rising”. They use dance, spoken word, films, and rallies to address a new women’s issue each year. This year they are working to hear the voices of marginalized women in their campaign titled “Listen! Act! Rise!“.
This organization is a non-profit working dedicated to aiding marginalized women in eight different countries. Over 429,000 women have received year long training programs thanks to Women for Women International in the past twenty years. The training program focuses on business, health and women’s rights. The mission of the program is to provide women with the knowledge and expertise to become self sufficient and start their own business, have intellectual conversations about their local economy and manage their own as well as their families health/nutrition.
The organization mobilizes it’s women to champion for women’s rights in their prospective community based on all they’ve learned in the training program. Each of the eight countries has a Women’s Opportunity Center provided by Women for Women to give trainees career resources and supportive communities. $30 donations can support an individual women and her journey through the training program.
Engender Health works to provide advocacy and access to healthcare for women in developing nations. Their work improves clinical quality by training providers to be informative as well as responsive. They are also working to educate men as well as women about the importance of reproductive health. In doing so, the organization is working to prevent gender based violence while promoting gender equality. The organization is also tackling the HIV/AIDS/STD epidemic. By training healthcare providers, improving health services, and advocating for policies internationally that can support the needs of those infected, while also containing the disease/virus. The organization also works to address maternal health holistically by giving health facilities medical supplies and high trained health professional to thus produce high-quality services. The biggest work Engender does is through education. They work to provide resources about being safe and making informed choices.
Engender also has various more specific initiatives in several different countries, here are a few examples. One of their projects, AgirPF, was created to expand women’s access to family planning services in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Niger and Togo. ExpandFP, is another project that focuses on increasing access to contraceptives, informed choice in Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda. Fistula Care Plus, the largest United States government funded initiate dedicated to treatment and prevention of the obstetric fistula. There are several more, you can find more information here.
This one of a kind non-profit is working to tackle poverty and inequality by creating innovative educational programs. Since 1993, Camfed has worked with women in Zimbabwe, Zambia Ghana, and Malawi. About 1.8 million students have been able to attend primary as well as secondary school because of Camped. Not to mention, about four million children have improved their learning environment because of the organization as well. Camfed is focused specifically on education because of its ability to address maternal morality, decrease poverty, and increase economic development. While working to tackle poverty and inequality, while educating and empowering young women, Camfed has been able to make a true difference in many lives across the African continent.
Although these are only four remarkable organizations, there are many out there specifically dedicated to helping women all over the world. I found these were specific in their own niches and had already done real work to really impact many women around the globe. By donating and spreading awareness about these organizations, we can all help women who are unable to use their voices like we can. We have the power to help.