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Fighting for gender equality is an ongoing process, one which only seems to get increasingly complex.
It would seem simple enough: Appreciate and respect people for their actions, and judge them based off the tangible contributions they make to society rather than their chromosome set. Unfortunately though, this is not always the case. Due to outdated beliefs and stigma, we continue to struggle with harmful stereotypes and gender bias.
Navigating the world as a feminist can be difficult sometimes, especially when you’re young, surrounded by people with opposing views, or simply trying to form an independent conclusion when opinions are so often proposed as fact. Older family members may not take you seriously, and you may worry about insulting someone you want to like you.
There are a number of women's health organizations you need to know which may give you the direction you need to help level the field for gender equality, setting a new standard for women everywhere in the world.
Women for Women International
Women for Women International is an organization which runs educational programs for women in countries such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, and others. In areas where women have limited access to education, they are more likely to find themselves helpless to care for themselves, their families, and their communities. Equal work for equal pay is as prevalent now as it has ever been, and Women for Women International’s programs teach women business and vocational skills, allowing them independence and autonomy so that they may better care for themselves.
The programs last 12-months and in addition to career coaching, students learn about maintaining their health and about civil rights.
Their Sponsor a Sister donation program allows individuals to connect with and fund a woman in the organization's program.
Malala Yousafzai is a young woman, born in Pakistan, widely recognized for advocating for the educational rights of school girls, even after being attacked by extremists. The Malala Fund builds on her story and her belief that young women deserve as much of a chance as young men to reach their potential.
By raising awareness about the situations which may prevent young women from receiving an education—these including child marriage, war, and gender bias—the Malala Fund helps open doors to better futures that outdated traditions may try to deny them.
In addition to accepting donations, The Malala Fund makes it easy for well-intentioned people to start their own fundraisers.
Equality Now is a group which fights to shift laws toward becoming fairer to women. Throughout the world, they’ve worked with government officials and within local communities to change harmful views and practices that work against women’s advancement.
The more people who are aware of and advocating for a cause, the better. Organizations like these help women rely on the effort of the general public for their work to be truly effective. Equality Now makes it particularly easy for people to make their voices heard by informing the public of issues regarding sexual violence, child marriage, legal rights, and others. Their website provides information on instances of gender inequality and provides a script which individuals may endorse and send to people in power to actively change legislation weighing on women's rights. Breaking the silence of sexual assault victims is for the greater good, and needs to start being as much of a priority by legislators as it is victims
Pathfinder International focuses on improving the reproductive and sexual health of young women and men in under-developed countries. They educate young people about STDs in order to prevent the spread of infections and the passing of HIV from mother to child, provide contraceptives for sexually active youth, and health care for pregnant women, new mothers, and their newborns.
Monthly or one-time money donations are accepted. They also accept donations through the AmazonSmile program, and accept frequent flyer miles.
The Global Fund for Women
Lesser known organizations that help women may sometimes struggle to find funding, even with all their knowledge and passion. The Global Fund for Women assists these groups financially so that they may carry out their work. In addition to offering grants to these groups, the Fund runs campaigns to raise awareness on human rights, education, and political issues.
The Global Fund for Women mainly accepts money donations and details how the money is used/distributed here.
Founded on International Women’s Day, Womankind Worldwide supports activist movements in countries including Kenya, Bolivia, and Sierra Leone. This group tells the stories of individuals, raises awareness of hardships women in developing countries may face, and partners with groups that provide these women education, shelter from violence, and other forms of help.
They accept donations here.
Madre works with local groups to help women and their families recover following times of hardships, such as in areas of conflict. While larger organizations that help women may be able to reach larger audiences, it is often the more local groups which understand the difficult situations women in that area face.
By providing access to clean water to women in Kenya to a safe haven from violence for women in Iraq, Madre supports communities’ immediate and most urgent needs. They accept donations and offer internships and jobs.
AnitaB.org is an organization which promotes inclusivity for working women, particularly in the technology industry. Anita Borg, a computer scientist, founded the organization, originally named the Institute for Women and Technology, in order to encourage women’s involvement in tech. She believed women would have a positive impact on the future of technology.
Now, AnitaB.org provides educational resources for companies who wish to promote gender equality within their workforce. Those who wish to become more deeply involved may apply as a student member to the Board of Trustees, donate, or volunteer at events or within an affected community.
The Orchid Project
The Orchid Project, like many organizations that help women, works to end harmful practices against women—in particular, female genital cutting. According to the website, female genital cutting is, “the partial or complete removal of a girl’s external genitals.” It’s a disturbing tradition, to say the least, but one which is fortunately becoming less and less followed. By educating communities on these practice's harmfulness, working with religious leaders, government officials, and families, The Orchid Project is helping rid the world of the practice.
The map above makes it easy to discover the prevalence of female genital cutting in countries across the globe, and The Orchid Project accepts donations here.
Center for Reproductive Rights
Like Pathfinder International, the Center for Reproductive Rights works to improve women’s access to reproductive health care the world over, maintaining a focus on changing legislation and challenging harmful policies. Recently, within the United States, the Center has been speaking out against Donald Trump and the influence he’s had on America’s reproductive and sexual health laws. They also remain involved on the international stage, supporting women in the face of stigma in regions including Europe, Latin America, Asia, and others.
The Center for Reproductive Rights encourages people to take part in shifting laws and promoting progressive ideas. Here, people may learn how to get in contact with lawmakers, spread awareness through social media, and register to vote.
As much of the Center’s work requires knowledge of US and international law, they also collaborate with lawyers around the world in their Pro Bono Program. Interested firms may contact the Center to offer assistance and insight.
Organizations that help women around the world face a lot of opposition in trying to create a world free of stigma and inequality. However, as progress is slowly but surely made, and toxic views are left behind, women will be granted more and more opportunities to get an education, run for office, lead companies, and contribute to making the world a better place.