When women have equal access to education and employment, the whole world benefits. Find out why, and how you can volunteer to support projects on women’s empowerment.
How do we build stronger economies, achieve development and sustainability goals, and improve the quality of life for entire communities?
One way we can achieve this is to assist women with empowering themselves.
As one of the most powerful actions we can take in working towards a better world, supporting projects on women’s empowerment is a meaningful opportunity for volunteers.
Here’s how you can get involved in volunteer work contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), including Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities.
Why is women’s empowerment so vital?
Why is women’s empowerment so vital?
The topic of women and empowerment has an important link to international development.
Globally, women on average earn a lower annual income than men, are less likely to own land or property, and are often expected to be responsible for childcare and managing the house.
When women prosper, entire communities benefit.
According to UNESCO, if all women in lower-resource countries had access to primary education, child marriages and child mortality rates could fall by as much as one-sixth and maternal death rates by two-thirds.
When women have access to the tools they need to empower themselves, there is greater opportunity for economic development. In the simplest of terms, when more women have the opportunity to work, economies grow.
Women’s economic empowerment increases productivity and income equality, and boosts economic diversification, according to UN Women.
What does it mean to support women’s self-empowerment?
The definition of women’s empowerment is ensuring women have control over their own lives.
This includes having a strong sense of self-worth, the freedom to make choices, and the right to access resources equally, such as independent income and education.
Supporting women’s self-empowerment means assisting women in accessing more opportunities for employment and financial independence. This can include working on skills development to increase employability.
In GVI’s volunteer programs, supporting women’s empowerment can be done through education and skills training to expand the career choices available to women in the communities we work with.
This gives women the chance to improve their economic status and well-being, as well as helping to break cycles that perpetuate gender discrimination and inequality.
How can volunteering contribute to women’s empowerment?
GVI’s projects on women’s empowerment focus on education, public health, business planning and vocational training. You could travel to Nepal , Ghana, Cambodia, South Africa, Costa Rica or Fiji to support these projects.
Women’s empowerment programs typically include public health workshops, skills training or educational support.
Here are some areas in which you can contribute to women’s empowerment.
Vocational training enables women to contribute towards the economic and social development of their communities.
In Costa Rica and South Africa, you can support women’s economic empowerment initiatives, like income generation workshops, and assist with supporting local female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses sustainably.
You can support women in developing their competency with computers by facilitating skills classes on how to master computer skills such as using spreadsheets or word processing applications.
You can also assist with professional skills classes focused on creating a CV or honing interview skills. Or, you can manage discussion sessions that cover topics around setting up and managing a small business.
Volunteers can share knowledge and support with women in local communities, to assist with improving reproductive health and alleviating unequal access to public health.
In some traditional Ghanaian communities, for example, women and girls are unable to openly talk about or find support for common issues surrounding female reproductive health, such as puberty, menstrual health, or contraception.
Volunteer to support women’s empowerment and reproductive health by assisting with creating safe-spaces for open discussions, and running workshops for women from traditional communities.
In this public health program in Ghana, you can play a role in providing women with the information they need to improve their health, understand their rights, and build their confidence.
Education is a powerful tool for women’s empowerment and the alleviation of poverty.
By volunteering on projects that aim to provide equal education to women and girls, you can assist with alleviating the effects of gender inequality. Volunteers can assist with facilitating opportunities for women to empower themselves and their families.
According to a 2015 report of statistics from UNESCO, women make up two-thirds of all illiterate adults in the world. Roughly 496 million women can’t read or write.
During this women’s empowerment program in Nepal, you can contribute to long-term initiatives, such as assisting with literacy and numeracy classes with girls and women, as well as hosting vocational skills workshops.
Helping women to improve their English language skills can enable them to access better employment opportunities.
For example, on this teaching internship in Thailand you’ll complete your TEFL training and support English language learning at local primary, secondary schools and kindergartens.
Assisting with women’s English language skills is one of the many ways we can support women in empowering themselves.
Join one of GVI’s international volunteer projects to support the self-empowerment of women.