Although women make up approximately half of the population, there have historically been social barriers to economic and personal freedom for women. While much has been done to alleviate this, there is still quite a way to go, especially in the so-called developing world.
Women are dis empowered from a young age, when they are held back from attending school for financial reasons or because of the perception that their education does not matter. Globally, women still earn less than men, and women with children tend to earn even less. This is a waste of potential and hampers progress on obstacles to global prosperity.
Empowering women has far-reaching benefits for the world. It has been estimated that if women farmers could be given the same resources as men, 150 million more people could be fed, effectively achieving the goal of zero hunger.
Women across the world are often the caretakers of household health, which means that if all women are taught effective healthcare practices, global well being statistics could be altered dramatically. Children of educated mothers are also less likely to be malnourished and survive past the age of five.
But it is not simply the lack of access to education and financial resources that plagues women. HIV and AIDS-related illnesses are the leading cause of death for women worldwide.
Rates of sexual violence against women remain high. This places women at greater risk of sexually transmitted infections.
The UN is creating awareness around the issue of women’s rights through setting objectives under UN SDG 5: Gender Equality. GVI runs several women’s empowerment projects worldwide in India, Nepal, Laos and South Africa.
For each women’s empowerment project, our team liaises with women in the community to find out what their needs are and how we can support them in achieving their goals. Some ask for support with running their handicraft business, others ask to work on educating young boys and girls about the value of gender equality, while others require computer literacy classes.