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Any serious conversation about combating global poverty must also be a conversation about empowering women.
Consider the following:
- Women invest more money in their children and their families than men do, and spend far more time on child care and housework.
- Women are less likely to have bank accounts than men. Just 47 percent of women worldwide report having one.
- In most countries, even when they’re paid for their labor, women earn an average of 60 to 75 percent of what men do.
- A 2013 report found that, worldwide, 49 percent of working women fell under the “vulnerable employment” designation, meaning that they were doing work without any legal protection.
Thankfully, creative problem solvers are chipping away at the structures that keep women in poverty. And from family planning to labor force participation, they’re employing one common strategy: education.
In 2014, a report from the United Nations Development Programme found that educating women -- especially women with children -- is key to creating a more equitable world.
Several organizations are already operating on that principle.
Days For Girls International’s #GearUpForGirls campaign, for example, focuses on young women during the delicate phase of puberty. For many, a lack of basic feminine hygiene products means attending school is out of the question. Days For Girls International addresses this problem by providing washable cloth pads to thousands.
In Ethiopia, where 57 percent of girls and young women are illiterate, a nongovernmental organization called Girl Up has built female-only bathrooms to make schools safer by reducing gender violence.
The Women’s Global Empowerment Fund launched a program to boost literacy rates among Ugandan women, so they can read and pass national exams.
And from Haiti to Tanzania, PCI Global is providing entrepreneurial training to help women start their own businesses and better manage their finances.
Learn more about organizations helping women around the world below.
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