As we prepare to celebrate International Women's Day, here are seven easy tips to make a big difference for daughters, sisters and mothers across our world and right in our own neighborhoods.
1. Save a woman's life in childbirth:
Did you know that in countries like Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Bolivia, having a baby is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do? By helping train local midwives in remote communities, you could save a life. Visit StrongWomenStrongWorld.org to learn more.
2. Mentor a girl close to home:
A growing poverty rate, poor-performing schools and teen violence make it tough to be a girl growing up here in our own country. Reach out and influence the life of a young girl in your own community by volunteering as a tutor or mentor. Get connected at BBBS.org.
3. Use your voice to stop trafficking:
Human trafficking and sexual exploitation affects girls and women in horrific ways all around the world, but the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in the U.S. Senate can help end the practice. Contact your Senators and ask them to renew this bill to protect women and girls, both here in the U.S. and around the world.
4. Invest in a small business owner:
Websites like WorldVisionMicro.org or Kiva.org connect you to hardworking women entrepreneurs, waiting to realize their dream of a dressmaking business, chicken farm or food stall that will help them provide for their family. Even better, when the loan is paid off, your donated funds are loaned out again and again to make a bigger impact.
5. Provide the ticket to education -- clean water:
One of the most common reasons girls in poor communities miss schooling is the lack of clean water in their village. Millions of girls and women spend several hours each day fetching water -- water that's often dirty and dangerous to their health -- instead of attending school. Give the gift of clean water and open the door to education for a young girl.
6. Band together with like-minded women:
Whatever your passion for helping other women, you'll do it better -- and have more fun doing it -- with other women excited about the same cause. National movements like Women of Vision can connect you to a network of resources while allowing you to grow your own local group of women who want to make the world better for girls and their mothers.
7. Tell the women in your life that you care:
Empowering women starts right in our families, workplaces and neighborhoods. Celebrate this International Women's Day by writing a note of thanks to that teacher who encouraged you years ago, picking up coffee for that new mom in your office who's struggling to balance it all or telling your own sister, daughter, or mother how much you appreciate them.