Why women?

Women and girls have the potential to break the cycle of extreme and multi-generational poverty.

Women and girls have long been at the greatest risk of poverty, abuse, and discrimination.  Yet, they possess remarkable resiliency and capacity to break the cycle of extreme and multi-generational poverty.  What is especially exciting about working with women is that when their personal circumstances are improved, they tend to elevate those around them.  Helping women is like throwing a stone into a pond, causing a ripple effect of cascading outward energy.

Women in vulnerable communities are too often denied the opportunity for basic education.

The majority of women in vulnerable communities never complete their primary school education. Illiterate women are more vulnerable to poor health, domestic violence, and economic exploitation. Unable to read or write, they are inhibited from reaching their full potential. Among the estimated 780 million illiterate adults, two-thirds are women. 

Women in these communities are least likely to access healthcare.

The World Health Organization estimates that 800 women die every day from preventable, pregnancy-related causes because they fail to access public healthcare resources even when they are available. Approximately 127 million women give birth every year. 27% of these deliveries do not occur in healthcare facilities and 39% fail to receive minimum care prenatal or well-baby care.

Under these circumstances, women are frequently victimized. One in three women experiences physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes.

Women living in vulnerable communities face extremely daunting challenges every day.  Whether it is domestic abuse, rape, or sex trafficking, gender-based violence denies far too many women the opportunity to live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. Globally, approximately 50% of female homicides are perpetrated by an intimate partner or family member. Usually, existing legal and social protections fail during to offer essential protection during conflict or economic, social or environmental crises.

Women are often confronted by limited economic opportunities.

Women, in general, are resilient and resourceful economic agents. They overcome persistent, gender-based barriers to improving health, education, and economic survival for their families. Each day, women around the world, even more so in vulnerable communities, are launching informal and formal businesses with little and sometimes no capital.  Women have the ability to create strong networks to maximize their limited resources while continuing to care for their families. Women in vulnerable communities are often ignored and forgotten by their own local and national governments as many existing laws and policies are oppressive them back. More facts and figures on women’s economic empowerment.

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